Considering the way that our civilization is progressing and at the pace at which our lives can easily go from one state to another, downhill or uphill, it is about time that we start storing water and food for the future. Natural disasters do occur and they cause a huge amount of destruction, leaving people …
If you are looking to add some powerhouse nutrition, be sure to consider lentils.
Lentils are legumes, and when compared with other dried beans, they are easy and quick to prepare since they do not require presoaking. However, they offer high nutritional content, and they readily absorb other flavors in your soups, stews and side dishes. Even better: They will store for years and years.
Lentils originated in central Asia and are one of the world’s first cultivated foods. In fact, lentil seeds dating back to Old Testament times have been discovered at archeological sites in the Middle East. Sometime before the first century, lentils made their way to India, where they became the basis of the popular Indian dish, dal.
There are dozens of varieties of lentils, and they are classified by size and by color. Although green and brown lentils are the most common types in the U.S., lentils also come in orange, red, yellow and black varieties. Flavors differ slightly among the different types, but each one offers a rich, dense, slightly nutty taste.
Here are some of the many health benefits lentils can provide.
Manganese. Stored in the bones and in the liver, pancreas and kidneys, this mineral helps the body maintain a normal level of blood sugar. It also offers protection against free radicals. A 100-gram serving of red lentils provides 100 percent of your daily manganese requirements.
Protein. If you are a vegetarian or are just looking to increase your protein intake, lentils are a great choice. A half cup serving of dry lentils provides 26 grams of energy-packed protein. They also are naturally gluten-free. Lentils are one of the best sources of alkaline protein, which means they can help balance the body’s pH level, promoting a healthy gut.
Fiber. If you consume 100 grams of dry green lentils, you will get 80 percent of your day’s fiber recommendation. A high daily intake of dietary fiber can help lower your “bad” cholesterol levels and offer protection against developing Type 2 diabetes and colon cancer. High fiber also regulates the digestive system, helping to prevent constipation, diarrhea, inflammatory bowel disease and diverticulitis.
Potassium. Potassium is helpful in regulating blood pressure, and it can help fight the damaging effects of too much sodium in the diet. A 100-gram serving of red lentils offers more potassium content than a large banana.
Folate. Folate plays an important part in heart health, nerve function and the formation of red blood cells. It helps prevent anemia and is very important in helping increase the blood volume of pregnant women and women of childbearing age in general.
Iron. You can take a natural iron supplement by eating 100 grams of lentils, which provides almost half of your daily iron requirement. Iron helps in the formation of hemoglobin in the blood and myoglobin in the muscles, both of which help fight against fatigue and tiredness.
Low starch content. Compared with refined grains and packaged carbohydrates, lentils have a low impact on blood sugar levels. Lentils contain about 35 percent digestible starch, and about 65 percent resistant starch, which is the type that escapes absorption in the small intestines. Eating lentils can help curb your appetite, since they are low in calories yet are satisfying.
How to Purchase Lentils
Lentils are available in prepackaged containers and in bulk bins. Look for lentils that are whole and without cracks and without any evidence of damage from insects or moisture.
Unlike many canned vegetables, canned lentils retain most of their nutrition. Check the label, however, to avoid added salt or other ingredients.
When dry lentils are stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry and dark place, they will store for years. Cooked lentils will stay fresh in the refrigerator for about three days in a covered container.
Cooking With Lentils
Spread lentils out on a light plate or surface to check for and to remove any small rocks or other debris. Then rinse lentils in a strainer under cool running water.
To boil lentils, use one cup of lentils per three cups of liquid. For lentils that are easier to digest, place them in water that is already boiling. When the water returns to a full boil, turn down heat to a simmer and cover the pot. Red lentils take about 20 minutes to cook, while green lentils take about 30 minutes.
You can lengthen or shorten this time depending on the consistency you desire. For example, you might want to cook them for less time if you want a firmer texture for a salad or soup. If you are making a curry or a dal, however, you may want to increase the cooking time so your lentils have a softer consistency.
Have you ever eaten or stored lentils? What advice would you add? Share your tips in the section below:
Here are some recipes for lentils you may want to consider:
The post The Overlooked Nutritional Powerhouse You Can Stockpile For Years appeared first on Off The Grid News.
Food is a very important necessity, we all know that and it’s safe to assume that most of us also know that food is not always easily available when you need it. It is entirely possible that there will come a time when you will have to face a shortage of food and for that …
My great-grandparents were preppers way before prepping was a thing. Is there a specific term for preppers who are also hipsters? Hipster-preppers? Prepsters? If there is, then that’s what you could call my great-grandparents, Dell and Hildegarde Stringham. They were the original preppers, long before the media started making documentaries about them. They had food […]
You would think that stockpiling food would be easy, right? Just buy a bunch of food, stash it away somewhere where it won’t be eaten, and you’re good, right? Uh, wrong. Building a stockpile and making it last is a lot harder than it looks.
The basic problem is that food, as it grows naturally, isn’t intended to be stored for years. For that matter, food the way it’s package at the grocery store isn’t intended to last for years. The manufacturers of that food assume that you are going to eat their products within a few months — and they pack it accordingly. So, if you want to keep your food around longer than that, you’re going to have to do something with it yourself and not trust their packaging.
The good news is that people have been hoarding food for millennia. Preserved food has been found in the various tombs of the pharaohs, demonstrating that mankind has been preserving and storing food for much longer than we would expect.
Fortunately, you and I don’t need to make our food stockpile last for thousands of years. It behooves us, though, to make sure that we store our food as well as possible, ensuring that we will have something to eat when everything suddenly goes wrong.
Here’s 10 ways to make your food last as long as possible:
1. Rotate Your Stock
One of the easiest ways to ensure that your food stocks last is to borrow a page from the stores you buy your food in. They have a rule called “first in, first out.” This merely means that they sell the oldest first. You should use the oldest first. If you are stockpiling a year’s worth of food and you always use the oldest can, box or bag of a certain item, you’ll never have anything in your stockpile that’s more than a year old.
This is especially useful for things you use all the time, like spaghetti sauce. To ensure that you’re actually using the oldest first, make a habit of marking the month and year of purchase right on the label. That way, you have a quick reference and don’t have to try and remember which style label is older than which.
2. If It’s Wet, Can It
Canning is one of the most effective and long-lasting means of food preservation out there. So make good use of it. The basic rule of thumb is that if a food item is wet, it can be canned. So, start canning meat loaf, extra produce from your garden and the fish from your latest fishing trip. If canned, it can stay usable in your survival stockpile for years. Some canned foods that are over a century old are still edible and nutritious.
3. Salt Does More than Flavor
Salt is nature’s preservative. So is sugar for that matter, although we use salt for preserving more than sugar. Other than fruit, just about anything you are trying to preserve probably needs salt added. It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about canning food, dehydrating it, making your own cold cuts or smoking a ham; salt is the key to ensuring that bacteria don’t spoil your food.
4. Overdo it With Oxygen Absorbers
If you’ve heard about packing dry food in aluminized Mylar bags and five-gallon buckets, then you’ve probably heard about oxygen absorbers, too. These are added to prevent food from oxygenating and losing its freshness. But oxygen absorbers also make an inhospitable environment for bacteria and insects, both of which need oxygen. So, when adding oxygen absorbers to dry foods that you’re packaging for your stockpile, go for a bit of overkill. Don’t just use the minimum recommended; step it up a bit and ensure that the oxygen has really been absorbed.
More than anything, this is about ensuring that insect eggs can’t hatch, creating a population of insects inside your preserved food. Any insects which did manage to hatch from their eggs won’t be able to survive without oxygen.
5. Don’t Forget the Silica Gel
Few people mention it, but adding a packet of silica gel to dry foods when packaging them for long-term storage can help ensure that they stay fresh. These foods turn stale when they absorb moisture. While you probably already try to make sure that there is no moisture in the container, when packaging those foods, things can happen. The addition of a silica gel package can ensure that any moisture which does get into the package is absorbed by something other than the food.
6. Keep Track of it All
Make sure that you develop and keep a good spreadsheet of everything you’ve got in your stockpile. This should mention package size, quantity and the location or locations you have it stored. Always be sure to update your list. Don’t just have that spreadsheet on your computer, either. Print a hard copy and keep it in a notebook.
7. If You Use it, Replace it
This is one I have to keep after my wife about. It’s easy to just dig into your stockpile if you need something and pick an item without realizing it’s the last one. Make a note so that the next time you’re shopping, you can pick up a replacement and put it in your stockpile.
8. Keep it Cool
Heat will cause many foods to alter while stored. It speeds up chemical reactions and in extreme cases can slow-cook the food. Always try to keep your food stored in cool, dry places rather than in hot ones. The attic really isn’t a good place for food storage for this reason. You’re better off hiding it under the bed or putting it in the basement.
9. The Tougher the Better
When it comes to packaging, the tougher the better. Never settle for “just good enough.” Go for something that’s overkill. I can show you five-gallon bucket lids which have been gnawed through by rodents. Bacteria and insects aren’t the only things that want to eat your food stockpile; there are plenty of mice and rats in the world that would love to have a picnic at your expense, too.
10. Spread it Out
Whatever you do, don’t store all your food stockpile in one place, or even all of one type of item in one place. Let’s say that your basement is your main food storage area. That’s probably pretty good. But if your basement floods, you aren’t going to have access to that food. So, make sure that some of it is stored under the bed or in the upstairs hall closest.
For that matter, you should have one or two food caches off-site, as well. You never know what could happen. The people of Southeast Houston probably weren’t expecting to have to abandon their homes before Hurricane Harvey came along.
What advice would you add? Share it in the section below:
Stockpiling a year’s worth of food is never cheap, but doing it with healthy food? That can break the bank.
Author and prepping expert Daisy Luther, though, says it doesn’t have to be that way. Daisy has discovered a few tricks that can help you store a year’s worth of food for half what you normally pay.
Daisy is this week’s guest on Off The Grid Radio. She tells us:
- Which healthy foods you should stockpile.
- Where you should store it.
- Why it’s essential to put healthy food in your stockpile.
- How a year’s worth of food can be purchased inexpensively in only three months.
Finally, Daisy reveals the ever-so-popular prepper food she urges people not to stockpile!
Winter is arriving for most of the United States, which means it is time to consider what you need to do to prepare. The last thing you want to do is wait to hear the forecast that a huge blizzard is headed your way. Everyone else will be hitting the stores, wiping shelves clean. Knowing the things to stockpile for a blizzard now will save you a lot of stress later.
9 Things to Stockpile for a Blizzard
The first thing that you should stockpile for any emergency scenario is water. The general rule you must remember is one gallon per person per day. So, if you have four people in your house, you want to be prepared to stay home for at least a week. That would equal 28 gallons of water. (And more if you consider cooking, bathing and toiletry.) Don’t forget to include a gallon for each pet!
During a blizzard, you have no idea if you will have electricity. Obviously, the ideal situation is that you have power, but if not, you should have non-perishable food on hand. Remember a manual can opener! So many people forget those until it is too late. Here are some good choices for food:
- Granola bars
- Protein bars and powder
- Oatmeal packets
- Jars of applesauce
- Cans of soup
- Canned beans
- Salmon or tuna packets
- Instant coffee and tea
- Peanut butter (and jelly)
- Powdered milk
- Pasta and sauce
3. Way to cook food
So, you have this great stockpile of food, but you don’t have a gas-powered stove. That means you have to figure out how you will cook the food without electricity. A camping stove or grill are good choices. Both allow you to use them during other situations, so they’re worth your money.
Remember to stockpile the fuel for the cooking method, either canister of propane or charcoal (with a lighter).
4. A form of heat
Snow means cold, and cold means heat is important. In the best blizzard situation, your power remains on, and your house stays warm. Too bad best-case scenarios don’t always work out. Heat is essential, and there are other options to consider.
First, remember to keep your house warm by blocking off unnecessary parts of the house. You can all sleep in one room and block off vents to other portions of the house. For those with a wood stove, all you need is a stockpile of dry firewood.
The other choice is a portable propane heater. You always should be careful and keep a carbon monoxide detector before turning them off. However, propane heaters are typically highly rated.
5. Necessary baby items
You only have to worry about this if you have a young child at home. Babies need constant tending, blizzard or not! A baby must be kept warm, so keep extra blankets and clothes for the child. Diapers, wipes, and ointment will keep your baby clean and happy. If you use formula, keep a few extra cans on hand for emergencies.
6. First-aid kit
In every situation, you want a first-aid kit. It never fails that when you assume you won’t need it, you do. If you don’t feel comfortable creating a kit, most stores sell ready-made first-aid kits. Stock up on some useful items such as:
- Necessary, daily medication
- Bandages and gauze
- Antibiotic ointment
- Cold medicine (for adults and children if you have little ones in house)
- Allergy medication
7. Flashlights, batteries, candles
If the power goes out, flashlights will help you see at night. Make sure that you remember batteries! Those flashlights won’t do much good if you forget batteries.
Candles are another choice, but it is important to remember that candles come with a safety hazard. Many house fires start because of candles, so use extreme caution. Keep a working fire extinguisher on hand, as well. Never leave a candle unattended, especially with kids or cats in the home!
8. Blankets and warm clothes
Staying warm is a necessity. Blankets and warm clothing are a must! Sweatshirts, wool socks, mittens, hats, thick sweatpants and more can be stored for an emergency. Ideally, each person will have a few blankets stored.
9. Snow removal tools
With all of that snow gathering in front of your home, you need tools to remove them. You will need to dig out eventually. Shovels are a good, cheap item to have on hand. Rock salt can help melt the ice on your patio or sidewalk. A snow blower is also a fantastic investment that will save you time and energy. Remember heavy duty work gloves! Your hands will be frozen at the end of the job.
What do you stockpile for a blizzard? Let us know your favorite, must-have stockpile item!
Long Term Food Storage Methods Going hungry during a crisis is not an option, and nothing brings you down like the lack of food and water. Running out of food is something all preppers think about, no matter how full their pantry is. All humans have this fear of hunger, and it’s something embedded deep …
The Best Foods To Hoard When The Power Is Out A few years ago, the loss of power didn’t seem so catastrophic to us, but today, it seems that things have changed. Increasing cyber-attacks, natural disaster, and terrorist attacks are causing long-term blackouts. The recent disaster in Puerto Rico is showing us how the lack …
No. 1. Careless packaging and storage
Careless packaging and storage will give you an inefficient and potentially unusable stockpile. You must protect your stockpile from pests, temperature extremes and humidity. The basement or cellar is an ideal spot for stockpiling because of moderate temperatures. Use airtight and waterproof packaging for long-term storage items (5-gallon buckets, jars, metal trash cans lined with food safe bags).
Keep an inventory checklist for efficient storage. Too much of one item will waste space and you won’t be able to rotate fast enough before expiration. Know the limits of your storage space, and make the most efficient use of it with an inventory checklist.
No. 2. No variety
Does your stockpile consist of a few foods and not too much variety? It’s a mistake to stockpile a narrow selection of foods. Your stockpile needs to have a variety of food groups, and a variety of ingredients for the meals and foods you currently eat week in and week out. A balanced diet to meet your nutritional needs is a varied diet.
No. 3. No flavor
Food without any flavor is a stockpile mistake. Do not overlook the importance of salt, sugar, herbs and spices, and condiments like lemon juice, ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, relish, chili powder, hot peppers and even capers. Do you use onions and garlic? Look for powdered versions and see if those also work. If you use it now, you should stockpile it.
No. 4. One at a time
Are you really going to stockpile only one item at a time before moving on to the next item? This sounds efficient and well-planned, but it is not ideal at all. What if a situation occurs before your stockpile is finished? You might have plenty of one or two items, but not much else.
Each grocery trip, buy several different things to stockpile: a jug or two of water, a jar of peanut butter, and then a mainstay dish ingredient or two.
No. 5. Static stockpile
Your stockpile is aging past the point of use if you keep a static stockpile. For a well-planned and efficient stockpile, you rotate items out that are nearing expiration, and replace with new items. Most people do this by filling their cupboards from their stockpile, and then grocery shopping to replenish the stockpile (instead of grocery shopping to replenish the kitchen cupboards).
No. 6 Unfamiliar foods
Storing unfamiliar foods is a mistake. If you don’t know how to prepare it, learn how to and try it before you stockpile it. Analyze your actual use of foods and use your current use as a guide of the best foods for most if not all of your stockpile.
No. 7. Skipping small items with big impact
If you haven’t tracked your current use of items, you might be overlooking small items with big impact. You may have plenty of flour and beans and rice, but what do you actually need to make something with those? You need yeast and baking soda and powder, and you need oils. What about toiletries? You may have soap and toilet paper stockpiled, but have you tracked your family’s actual use of toiletry items? If not, you’re almost certainly missing something important. Take stock of your current use of groceries and toiletries so you don’t overlook small items with big impact.
No. 8. Expecting kids to adapt quickly
If you have kids, you probably know that expecting younger children to adapt quickly to new foods is asking for a hard time. Make things a little easier for them and for you by planning and including some foods tailored to children’s tastes.
No. 9. None of your stockpile foods are “easy”
Speaking of adapting and easy, it’s a big mistake to not have at least a few “easy” foods in your stockpile. Easy foods do not require a lot of effort to prepare, and should be familiar. In times of stress, transition, and new situations, having easy-to-prepare and easy-to-eat familiar comfort foods is a big advantage. With a few easy foods, you can focus on the situation at hand (whatever it may be) instead of having to focus food preparation.
No. 10. You only stockpile food
Not stockpiling anything but food is a mistake. You also need a full tank of gas, a full tank of heating fuel, and an alternate source of heat in a cold climate. Do you have a good first-aid kit? Do you have two or more ways of starting a fire and kindling? Is your woodpile ready? What about pet food? Do you have non-electric cooking equipment, can openers, trash bags, soap, toilet paper, toothpaste and extra toothbrushes? Don’t forget medications! Longer term items to consider: fresh canning lids (these are not reusable). Bleach. Hunting and fishing equipment.
No. 11. Everyone knows your stockpile
Your stockpile is an asset. You are storing a commodity in your home. Your stockpile today may not make you a target for thieves, but keep in mind that that the value of your stockpile may change under different circumstances. Today, you may feel secure talking up your stockpile. Tomorrow, your stockpile may be more valuable than cash. Is it wise to talk about storing a huge amount of cash in your house? Would you want many people to know? Be discreet.
No. 12 .You aren’t adding skills
Are you overlooking the importance of skills, knowledge and training? Brush up on first-aid classes. Learn about wood stove heat. Assess your skills in gardening, canning and preserving foods, and hunting and fishing. Can you navigate through rough terrain? Inventory your skills, and make plans to add to or improve your skills over time.
No. 13. Your stockpile is in one place
Storing everything at home, in one location, and not making a plan for mobility from home is a big stockpiling mistake. You need some supplies in your car and at work so they are accessible when you are not at home. You should have warm clothes, sturdy walking shoes, a flashlight, food, water, and a good first-aid kit near you when traveling or at work. This could be as simple as storing these items in your vehicle and at work.
No. 14. Your stockpile isn’t tested
If you aren’t testing your stockpile, you are making assumptions that it will work as planned. Assuming is a mistake. Do not assume your generator will fire right up, or that your private well or municipal water and sewer will work in a power outage. Have a hand pump? Have you not tested it recently? Don’t assume you’ve calculated the correct quantities without a trial run. Don’t assume, period. Always check and test.
No. 15. Not adapting
Don’t make the mistake of complacency. Remember that “the only constant is change.” Beginners may underestimate how much water or food to stockpile, or miss signs of pest damage. More advanced stockpilers may test their stockpile once or twice and then let years go by (and circumstances change enough to cause a potential problem that an interim stockpile test would have caught). Complacency will lead to failing to plan ahead sufficiently.
What would you add to our list? Share your tips in the section below:
How to Make Your Own Pectin Homemade pectin is usually made from apples or crab apples, both of which have an abundance of pectin. Making homemade pectin is one of those things you can do to save some money and to learn as a self-reliance skill. If there was ever a time when the stores …
Are you thinking about starting a food storage stockpile but you aren’t sure where to start? Do you want to stop stocking up on supplies – hurriedly — in advance of severe storms? Are you just beginning to store extra food, but you aren’t sure if you’re doing it right?
If so, then read on. We’ll tell you what to buy, how to get good deals, and ways to store extra food so you are prepared to shelter in place with plenty of supplies on hand.
Slow and Steady Wins the Race
How to best stockpile? Slowly and steadily is the best way to build a food supply. You don’t want the large expense and rush of trying to get everything at once. In addition, building a food supply gradually gives you the advantage of personalizing your plan, and adjusting for things you may have missed when you initially began.
How should you start the stockpile process? First, think about the meals you consistently prepare week in and week out. These meals and dishes are your mainstays, or simply the foods you and your family are accustomed to eating and that you know and like. When you are first beginning to stockpile, you should first stock up on these familiar ingredients to prepare your mainstay dishes. With a supply of these foods always on hand, you will be well-prepared in the event of a storm without having to make a rushed and crowded grocery run.
We’ll go into more detail about what exactly to buy below, but you should start by picking up a few items each week with your regular grocery runs. Initially, these extra items will be foods you already eat and like and use to prepare the mainstay dishes we talked about above. With a few items each week, you will build a supply of food that will last a week, and from there you can carefully and gradually double that to a two-week supply. Once you have a two-week supply of food, you will repeat the process until you again double and have enough of a supply to last a month, then two or three months. Step by step, week by week, you will gradually accumulate a stockpile to tide you through potential shortages.
Don’t Put all Your Eggs in one Basket (Diversify)
You might see suggestions to stock up on one item at a time; for example, to start with water and to stockpile only water until you have your supply of water all stored. This sounds efficient and well-planned, but it is not ideal at all. What if a situation occurs before your stockpile is finished? You might have plenty of water or flour, but not much else. It is better to buy a few different items at one time. Do not stockpile “one item at a time.” Instead, buy several different things: a jug or two of water, a jar of peanut butter, and then a mainstay dish ingredient or two.
Water can be tricky to store. Evaluate whether you have a dependable source of water, and if you don’t, you will have to stockpile water in containers, and/or water filtration or treatments to make water from natural sources drinkable or potable (drinking untreated water from a river or a stream can make you seriously ill).
Practice Makes Perfect: Use Your Stockpile
Yes, we really mean it: You need to use your stockpile. It might go against your instincts, but incorporating your stockpile into your meal preparation is important because when you eventually build a longer-term stockpile, you will go shopping to replenish your stockpile, not your cupboards. Why? All foods have a shelf life, and many have an expiration date. If you don’t use the items from your stockpile, it will (at some point) age past the point of use. You don’t want a stockpile of expired or ancient food. By incorporating items from your stockpile into your daily or weekly meals, you will keep the items in your supply fresh. This is known as “rotating” your stockpile — pulling older items out for use, and then shopping to replenish them. This is also why you should take a close look at whether MRE (meals ready to eat) rations and types of stockpiles really suit your purposes. They do expire, and unless you actually use them on a regular basis, you may find yourself one day with very expensive and totally inedible food.
As you use your stockpile and replenish it, take notes of items you are using the most to prepare meals. If there are items you use that you are not yet stockpiling, then add those items to the extras you pick up on your grocery runs.
What to Buy
As mentioned above, focus first on the ingredients needed to prepare your mainstay dishes, plus water. Other good staples to consider are:
- Grains such as pasta, rice, & oatmeal
- Peanut butter
- Nuts and trail mix or granola bars/power bars
- Dried fruit
- Tuna fish
- Canned soups
- Canned vegetables
- Vinegar, oil, mayonnaise, salt, seasonings
- Water in containers and/or water treatments
Also, consider paper goods, food packaging, garbage bags, dish soap, personal toiletries and an upgraded first-aid kit and offline reference materials and skills.
How do you get the best deals? Conserving resources is important, so try to shop any deals that you spot. If there’s a sale on items you regularly use, then pick up one or two extra for your stockpiled food supply. Research whether coupons or buying in bulk for some items makes sense for your particular situation. Break down the cost per item by dividing the total price by the number of items to see if you are actually getting a deal buying a larger quantity.
Ways to Store Extra Food
The trick is to have your stockpile easily accessible so you can rotate items. You also need to protect your stockpile from pests, temperature extremes and humidity. Many people find that the basement or cellar is an ideal spot for stockpiling, using shelves or airtight and waterproof packaging (5-gallon buckets, jars, metal trash cans lined with food safe bags).
You also can add space to your cupboards by getting risers to create another level inside the cupboard, or racks to store items behind the cupboard door itself (take time to make sure your cabinets are securely fastened to the wall before adding the extra weight of canned goods). Consider extra unused or underutilized space in closets, under the bed, or in the back of deep kitchen cupboards. Are you storing empty suitcases? Why not fill those with food since they are taking up space anyway? Create shelving in odd spaces such as under stairs or above the clothes washer and dryer, or around the top edge of a garage wall.
So you see, it’s not hard to find and store items for your own stockpile. You can take the first steps to build a food stockpile easily and gradually during your weekly grocery shopping so that you can weather an emergency without having to make any runs to the grocery store.
What advice would you add? Share your tips in the section below:
Amidst the joy of summer time swims, cold Popsicles, and sleeping in, the new school year sneaks up on us. I dread the whirlwind back to school shopping as advertisements plague the airways, and other media. I feel my wallet emptying before I even make the shopping list. Not to mention the kids exclaiming, “I want this one!”
Here are a few things I have learned to prep for back to school season. It will help save money, time, and some sanity.
Every year, we use the same basic school supplies. Most stores overstock these items. I’ve learned to wait until the end of the back to school rush, when the stores mark the items for clearance, then I stockpile crayons, ruled paper, printer paper, composition books, pencils, glue, etc.
Also, the teachers will love you in the middle of the year when they run out of some supplies. With the low cost, I never mind sharing from my stockpile.
My ongoing school supply stockpile also saves us a bit of money each year. With the savings, each child can pick out a few of their “must have” items without breaking the bank.
When picking out a back pack, I spend a little bit more money for one with a lifetime warranty. That way if it gets over filled and breaks a seam, I simply return it for a new one.
One way I save on school clothes is not to buy them only at the back to school sales. Instead I buy clothing year round. At the end of the seasons, when items are on clearance, I try to buy the next size up for the following year. This especially great for basic items like jeans, socks, undergarments, etc. (Side note on underwear: all tightie whities look the same; if you buy every male in the house a different brand, sorting laundry goes sooo much faster.)
On gift giving holidays, I buy each child a new outfit and shoes. I work it into the gift buying budget. This helps balance out the cost of clothing my ever growing brood during the year. Plus, it freshens up their wardrobe.
Skip all the driving around and shop online. Scoping out deals is a click of the mouse and most websites offer free shipping over a certain amount spent.
I highly recommend Amazon Student. I sit down at the beginning of my college semester, and put in one big order for the kids and myself. With the student discounts and Amazon Prime shipping it is a double win. (Living overseas as a military wife, Amazon Prime has been a true life saver.) Another plus: I can find all my college books used and sell them back later, or I can simply rent and return books.
While online shopping I also use MyPoints.com, a free online points system resulting in gift cards, and RetailMeNot.com. You can look up any website you are shopping at and get online coupon codes. Both of these web sites yield a good return, $5-$25 on average.
Setting a Budget
The most important part of school shopping is setting a budget. Even more important is including the kids. I sit down with them, show them how a budget works, and what our plan of attack is.
They help me compile our supply list. When it comes to the actual shopping part, I usually give them a small budget of their own to buy their wants. The catch is they do the math, and I help them make conscious decisions on quality and usefulness. The rest of the list, which is mostly basics, comes from the stockpile.
Prepping for the school year can be a tedious repetitive task. Enter the new school year fully prepared by creating a small stock pile of the basic necessities. This will save you time, money, and some sanity.
If you’ve been paying attention to the news lately, you may be feeling on edge. You may feel as though time is running out for you to get your preparedness … Read the rest
Most of us are planning on heating and cooking with wood when the power goes out or the grid goes down. But to make it through winter requires somewhere between four and six chords of firewood. At today’s prices, that’s a hefty investment. But I don’t have a single dollar invested in my stockpile of firewood, other than for gasoline.
Yet there are a number of strategies you can use for building your firewood stockpile that won’t cost you any more than they’ve cost me:
Clearing the Streets After a Storm
It’s not uncommon for severe storms to cause tree branches to come crashing down. While trees are resilient, there is a limit, especially with old trees or trees that have branches with a large horizontal reach. A severe storm can leave people’s front yards and even the streets littered with dead branches.
Cleaning up that mess can take days and cost the city a small fortune. So why not do a little community service work? Go out about the neighborhood, cutting up those trees and hauling them off. Nobody needs to know that you’re hauling them to your own backyard, where you’re turning them into firewood. Besides, I doubt if anyone would care.
You can actually do this with almost no waste, if you plan it out right. The larger branches can be fuel, smaller ones can be turned into kindling and the leaves and twigs can either go into your composting operation or can be mixed with chopped-up newspapers and molded to turn them into fuel, as well.
Just check with your city maintenance department before you do this. You’re much less likely to run into trouble with the city if you let them know what you’re doing, before you start. Some union members may complain about you, so having management aware that you’re a civic-minded citizen can help them defend you.
Trimming Your Trees
Speaking of tree branches falling, I’m sure you’ve had that happen in your own yard. I’ve got at least one chord of wood in my pile that has come from my own trees. One died and I had to cut it down, another is old and has had some branches break off in storms, and the old oak had some dead branches that had to be removed.
Of course, if you prune your trees, you’re going to be removing some branches, too. Just because you feel that your trees don’t need those branches, doesn’t mean that they’re a waste. Good wood is good wood, no matter where it comes from.
Trimming Other Peoples’ Trees
Since you’ve already equipped yourself to cut down and cut up your own tree branches, why not extend your reach to others? Keep your eyes open for people who have dead trees or trees that are breaking due to age and weight. Offer to cut those dead limbs off or remove the tree. That will greatly expand your wood pile and only cost you a Saturday afternoon here and there.
I personally draw the line here on not pruning peoples’ trees for them. While I’m willing to offer a free service that helps me, too, I’m not really into being taken advantage of. Besides, I really don’t feel that I’m knowledgeable enough about pruning that I can do it correctly. I really don’t want to be liable for any mistakes I make.
If you’re not finding enough dead trees and tree limbs to cut down, put up a notice on your local grocery store’s bulletin board. Lots of people do that for all kinds of services, so it wouldn’t seem unusual. Just be specific on your flyer of what it is that you are offering.
Taking this idea to the extreme, find a builder who is starting a new housing development and needs to clear land. They generally have to pay someone to do that. Get your buddies together and offer to clear the trees for free some weekend, stocking yourself and your survival group up with firewood all at the same time.
Watching for Woodpiles Awaiting the Trash Man
There are actually a couple of ways of doing the same thing, without as much work. That is to look for trees that someone else has cut down and are awaiting removal by the city’s truck. A lot of towns have regular pickup of leaves and tree branches, with people leaving them on the curb for pickup. All you need to do is drive by with your truck or trailer and grab the branches that you want. Just ask the people first so they don’t think you’re a thief.
You even can work out a similar sort of deal with someone who has a tree trimming or pruning business. They usually have to take the limbs they cut to the dump or to a municipal mulching center. You can actually save them some cost by asking them to dump off branches in your driveway, especially the larger ones.
Pallet wood is excellent firewood because it is often oak — a good, slow-burning hardwood. The trick is finding the pallets. Most companies sell their used pallets to businesses that specialize in recycling pallets. That makes it hard to get pallets from larger companies. But you can get them from smaller companies that don’t have an agreement with a pallet recycler.
Another possibility is to go to the pallet recyclers themselves. They want the good pallets because they can sell those to companies that need them. But in order to get the good ones, they have to be willing to pick up the bad ones, too. So, they usually have a huge pile of broken-up pallets that they are stuck with. Check with them; they’ll often let you take whatever you want from that pile for free. It saves them from having to deal with them.
What ideas would you add on getting free firewood? Share your tips in the section below:
There are five essential and basic foods that you should store in your emergency pantry in order to have an adequate and well-planned short- or long-term food stockpile.
Do you know what those five foods are — and why you should pick each of them up every time you shop?
The First Food: a Protein (Start With Peanut Butter)
Peanut butter, jerky, beans, tuna, trail mix and power bars are good sources of protein. Pick one of these protein staples each week you shop, and change it up each week so you have a variety of protein sources in your stockpile. Protein, of course, is one of the building blocks of life. It supports muscles, blood, enzyme and hormone production. Protein also is responsible for building and repairing cellular tissue.
The Second Food: a Carb (Start With Bread)
Bread, rice, crackers, pasta and flour are good sources of carbohydrates. Pick one of these carbs to add to your grocery cart each week (and change them up each week as above). Carbs are responsible for energy. The fiber in carbs supports digestive health as well as heart health. Fiber can lower cholesterol levels, too.
The Third Food: a Fat or a Condiment or a Spice
Mayonnaise, oils, butter and cheese are essential fats for cooking. Fats are necessary in sautéing, greasing baking pans, making tuna salad and grilled cheese. Also in this category are condiments like ketchup, mustard, salt, pepper and other spices.
Fats are responsible for healthy skin, hair a healthy brain (did you know the brain has a large percentage of fatty tissue?) and the transport of non-water soluble vitamins (such as A, D, E and K) throughout the body. Fats also contribute to immune system health, insulin levels and blood sugar control.
The Fourth Food: Produce
Of course, fruits and vegetables are an excellent source of a broad array of vitamins and minerals and fiber, all of which are essential to good health. Fruits and vegetables will provide you with potassium, Vitamins C & A, and folic acid. For stockpile items, choose ones that can store long-term (dried or frozen).
The Fifth Food: Comfort Food
In times of stress, you are going to appreciate easy-to-prepare foods. These are your comfort foods. The best stockpiles factor in your family favorites: canned soups, canned stews, mac and cheese, chocolate, potato chips, cheese, coffee, sugar and bread (freeze it!). Comfort food can make for an easier adjustment during a transitional or tough time, particularly with children.
In Practice: Change it up
Would you rather have 78 jars of peanut butter and no other protein source, or would you rather have a variety of different protein sources? Buy a variety of items.
Try to group the five you buy so that you can make a meal or two with the five ingredients. For example, the first week buy peanut butter, bread (freeze it), cheese, dried apricots, and canned soup. With those five foods, you can make a peanut butter sandwich, a grilled cheese sandwich, soup on the side, and dried fruit for a snack. The following week, buy tuna, mayonnaise, flour, canned tomatoes and coffee. Your meal? Tuna fish sandwiches, homemade pasta from the flour and a sauce from the tomatoes.
By adding these items to your cart each time you shop, you will be able to gradually and easily build or maintain your food stockpile.
What advice would you add? Share your thoughts in the section below:
Once someone starts upon the road of preparedness, it seems never to end. The idea of actually having enough to get through any crisis may be something we all aspire to, but it’s an elusive goal.
There’s really no way of knowing what will be enough, without knowing what sort of disaster we are ultimately going to face. But even if we knew, the number of variables that could affect our survival are mindboggling.
That’s why most serious survivalists work to develop plans that are both flexible and cover as wide a range of possible disasters as possible.
Yet even with that goal, we often miss key things, which could ultimately affect our ability to survive. Often, those key things are rather small, making them easily overlooked.
One of the solutions we commonly use to avoid missing those important things is redundancy. By having more than one thing which can do a critical job, we ensure that we will always have something that we can use. But what if something happens to that critical piece of survival gear? What will we do then?
For example, consider the subject of camping. You go out to get a few days of peace and quiet, and then something goes wrong. A seam in your tent tears; your favorite fire-starter breaks; the fuel leaks out of your camp stove; the drain plug for your boat is missing or it turns out that your water filter got crushed since the last time you used it. Every camping trip seems to have its woes, most often associated with some critical piece of camping equipment.
What makes any of us think that things will be any better in a survival situation, than they are on the typical camping trip? If anything, we’ll probably do worse, as we’ll need the equipment even more and be using it even harder. Oh, and, there won’t be anywhere to go buy a replacement.
In my many years of camping, I’ve learned the importance of being ready to make on-the-spot repairs. While that’s not the reason that I go on those camping trips, nor is it what I’d like to do, being prepared to make those repairs means that when I find that critical piece of gear broken, I can fix it, rather than having my trip ruined.
Personally, I’d rather carry the extra gear, which really doesn’t take up much more space than a paperback book.
So, what’s in my camping repair parts kit?
- Duct tape (of course).
- Superglue (another obvious one).
- Epoxy (my favorite adhesive).
- Epoxy putty – great for fixing anything leaking, like a hole in a canteen.
- FiberFix (fiberglass repair tape).
- Sewing kit – with heavy-duty thread and needles.
- Safety pins.
- A couple of strong carabineers.
- Small nuts, bolts and screws.
- Pump rebuild kit for Coleman lanterns and stoves (I use the old-fashioned Coleman gear which runs off gasoline, rather than propane).
- Spare mantles for Coleman lantern.
- Sealing tape for inflatables – pool toys and air mattresses.
- A zipper repair kit.
- Knife sharpener.
- Spare disposable butane lighter.
- 4-inch and 8-inch wire ties.
- Assorted sized plastic bags.
You might be wondering where the tools are in that kit, but I keep a tool kit in each of my vehicles. So, I have tools available. When it comes to my bug-out bag, which has the same sort of kit, the only tool I carry is a multitool. While this isn’t a perfect solution, it does give me the capability to make repairs, without having to carry the weight of a whole tool box along.
Taking this a step further, I also take a critical look at all the survival equipment I have at home, with an eye toward the need to repair it. Since much of my survival gear is homemade, I make determining what parts I should stock a part of building the device. Specifically, I look for parts that can break during use, as well as anything that’s a normal wear item. Replacement parts for these pieces of equipment end up in the storage cabinet in my workshop.
Let me give you a few ideas of what I’m talking about here:
- I built a well drill, so that I could drill a well. It has belts and bearings in it, spares of which are in the cabinet. While I probably won’t need another well, my neighbors might.
- Anything that uses water is going to have seals. So, when I make these things, I always buy spare seals.
- I’ve already had one spigot broken on one of my 200-gallon water tanks, so I have spare spigots, as well as the associated parts.
- I have a spare burner for my barbecue grille, my prime survival “stove” (I also have a couple of extra tanks of propane).
- I have a spare solar charge controller and voltage inverter for my power system. These are stored in a Faraday Cage for protection against an EMP. My solar panels and wind turbine would probably survive an EMP, but these components would not.
- Spares for all the critical maintenance parts in my cars, such as belts, sensors, a computer, other electronic modules, hoses, fuses and bulbs.
- Spare spark plugs and air filters for the lawn mower and roto-tiller.
- Seals for my well pump.
While stockpiling all these parts may seem like an extra, unnecessary expense, they will provide me with the ability to keep my gear running, when everyone else’s stops. Besides, if a disaster never strikes, I’ll be ready to repair this equipment the next time it breaks down.
What would you add to our list? Share your thoughts in the section below:
When a disaster draws near, suddenly, preppers don’t seem quite so crazy anymore. It becomes mainstream to engage in a flurry of activity that looks like an episode of Doomsday Preppers being fast-forwarded across the screen. Panic prepping happens more often than you might think. We see it frequently when the news outlets warn of …
Can you stockpile fresh produce? Yes! You can integrate your extra garden and orchard produce (or weekly specials from the supermarket) into a well-planned stockpile that includes fresh produce, just like your great-grandparents did.
Fresh items can be preserved for longer storage, and you can grow fruit trees, nut-bearing trees, berry bushes, and perennial edible plants and herbs to ensure a well-balanced diet that includes fresh fruits and vegetables.
This article will examine why preserving produce is a good idea, will compare nutritional benefits and costs to store of dehydrated foods versus canning or freezing, and will suggest the most useful fruits and vegetables to stockpile.
First, though, why would you stockpile perishable items?
- Fruits and vegetables are a good source of a broad array of vitamins and minerals for a balanced diet (like potassium for muscle health).
- “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” as the old English proverb says. Fruits and vegetables as part of a healthy diet prevent diseases like scurvy (caused by a lack of vitamin C).
- Fruits and vegetables are a source of fiber, which is filling and aids digestion,
- Variety! Vegetables and fruit offer sweet, spicy and sour tastes.
- Fruit- and nut-bearing trees, as well as some perennial plants or those that come true from seed, offer a unique opportunity to establish part of your stockpile as part of your home landscaping.
Fresh Produce Stockpile Option No. 1: Dehydrate
Drying or dehydrating fruits and vegetables is more cost-effective long-term than canning or freezing, and dried items (like apple slices) have a longer shelf life than canned or frozen items. In addition, drying produce using lower heat settings preserves essential nutrients that might be lost in cooking at high temperatures or in freezing. If you are interested in comparing costs between drying, canning and freezing, check out this article from the Colorado State University Extension.
Keep your eye out for fruit on sale, and dry it as a cost-effective way to incorporate fresh produce into your stockpile. Dehydrating is also an excellent way to preserve excess garden produce with less effort than canning, and less energy expenditure. Both methods generally require slicing or chopping to prepare produce, but water bath canning requires sterilized jars, a stove top for hot water bath boiling, and it takes more hands-on time, so more effort and more spent fuel energy.
What to dry? Apple slices are easy to dry and have a long shelf life when sealed in an airtight container. Pineapple can be easily dried, as can apples, pears, plums, tomatoes, herbs, plums, pears and bananas. Strawberries, kiwi, pumpkin and peppers are also good drying candidates. Slices of citrus fruit can be dried. You can also create fruit leathers and meat jerkies.
Store dehydrated food in airtight containers (I use glass jars), in a cool area, and label for rotation and use as you would other foods in your stockpile.
A brief note on dehydrator equipment: If it is humid in your area, then you need a dehydrator (preferably with a heat source and electric fan), but if you are in a dry area, then you can actually dry food on trays in the sun.
Fresh Produce Stockpile Option No. 2: Canning
Standard canning favorites are applesauce, tomato sauce and salsa, dilly beans, whole peaches, and jams and jellies. Canned produce is good for a year or more before it starts to lose its nutritional value, so clearly label canned food and rotate its use in your short-term stockpile.
Canning is hot and takes quite a bit of effort. Jars must be sterilized before filling, the food is generally cooked (or a hot broth is added to uncooked food in jars), and then jars are submerged in a boiling water bath for a set period of time, depending on what is being canned and in what size jar.
Fresh Produce Stockpile Option No. 3: Cold Storage
Cold storage options include freezing fresh produce and using a cool area (such as a root cellar) to preserve items like potatoes, onions, pumpkin, winter squash, apples and garlic.
Freezing produce is obviously dependent on a power supply in warmer months or warmer climates. The shelf life of frozen items is similar to canned food. Preparation of fruits and vegetables for freezing may include “blanching” the produce in a hot water bath and then drying before packing and freezing. Remove as much air from packages as you can to extend shelf life. A vacuum sealer to package food is an excellent way to remove air and package items for freezing.
Root cellars are typically used to preserve a late summer or fall harvest of fruit and vegetables into the winter months. A root cellar temperature is typically near 40 degrees Fahrenheit and has a high humidity level (80 percent or more). This temperature and humidity is good for storing potatoes, apples, carrots and pumpkins.
Fresh Produce Stockpile Option No. 4: Ferment & More
Do you like sauerkraut, pickles and salty green beans? Don’t forget the options of salt water brining, fermentation and preserving in solutions such as oil, vinegar and alcohol. A handy resource to learn more is “Preserving Food without Freezing or Canning: Traditional Techniques Using Salt, Oil, Sugar, Alcohol, Vinegar, Drying, Cold Storage, and Lactic Fermentation” published by Chelsea Green Press (2007).
Fermenting is also used to produce alcohol; the high sugar content of many fruits in combination with yeast will produce alcohol if allowed to ferment long enough. Bubbly apple cider or homemade wine anyone?
Fresh Produce Stockpile Option No. 5: Planting
My favorite option for stockpiling fresh produce is to plan ahead for future harvests by planting fruit & nut trees, berry bushes, and perennial herbs and edible plants.
The best time to plant a fruit or nut tree is now; fruit-bearing trees can take 3-7 years to produce fruit. Consider apples, pears, plums, chestnuts and hazelnuts. In more southerly areas, citrus, almonds and figs are also possible. Crabapples are a natural source of pectin for canned jams and jellies, if you don’t want to have to rely on store-bought pectin.
Consider planting berry bushes such as raspberries, blueberries and strawberries. Grapes are relatively easy to grow, and hardy in many areas. Rosehips, found on many old-fashioned roses, are a good source of vitamin C. Herbs, such as parsley, are high in vitamin C, and herbs like chives and sage come back year after year. Perennial garden staples such as rhubarb and asparagus will come back year after year, and can be supplemented with a store of garden seeds for things like tomatoes, cucumbers and beans.
Martin Luther may have said it best: “Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.”
In conclusion, a supply of fresh fruits and vegetables is an excellent addition to a well-planned stockpile. You can preserve and grow fresh produce to ensure a well-balanced diet. So, what are you waiting for? Get growing, drying, canning, fermenting, and root cellaring!
What advice would you add on stockpiling and preserving fresh product? Share your tips in the section below:
What can be worse than to open up your stockpile, only to find that all of your food supplies have been eaten by something else?
Stockpiling supplies isn’t enough. You need to protect all of them from the pests that could leave your family hungry in a time when food will be scarce.
Venezuelans were eating dogs, cats and pigeons in 2016 because they couldn’t find any food. The Spanish and the Portuguese had to resort to food banks after the economic collapse of 2008. Incredibly, 1 in 7 Americans is on food stamps.
Unless you want to throw money away on food, I recommend you know what the biggest enemies of your stockpile are, and then take these easy steps to protect your food from all of them.
1. Rats and mice
The first things everyone thinks of when they hear the word “pests” are mice and rats. They can wreak havoc in your pantry, particularly if the only thing protecting your Mylar bags is 5-gallon plastic buckets. They will chew away plastic without a problem.
Now, there are various types of mice traps out there, including a few that are really, really cheap. But that doesn’t guarantee that your stockpile will be safe. The first thing you should do is put those plastic buckets into larger, metal buckets.
The only thing about metal buckets is that they’re pretty pricey. A 6-gallon metal bucket with a lid is more than $20 on Amazon … so you’ll probably only put some of your foods in them at first, while you also focus on the other ways to keep mice out of your pantry. (Figuring out the entry point and isolating the room, setting up mice traps, etc.)
A better solution is to get one or more of those galvanized trash cans. They’re about $35 each, but they can fit more buckets. Keep in mind that metal containers are more fire-resistant than plastic ones, meaning that in case of a house fire, your stockpile could get away unharmed.
2. Pantry moths
The good news is that moths have a harder time getting inside containers than do mice. So, if you have #10 cans or glass jars, so long as they are properly sealed, they should be enough.
Nevertheless, having them in your pantry requires to always be careful not to keep containers open. There are plenty of tricks known by pest control folks on how to take care of them. For example, one gentleman I read on a survivalist board suggested using pheromone traps and a portable steamer to make sure not only the moths but also their eggs are removed from your pantry. Sounds like good advice.
Out of all the pests we talk about in this article, you’re probably going to hate the sugar ant the most. That’s because it’s attracted to comfort foods (such as honey) as well as sugar. Some of the things you can do to get rid of ants include:
- Block as many entryways as you can. Yes, I realize they are really small and can come in through many different places, but this will decrease the chances of them being successful.
- Ants hate vinegar and lemon juice, so mix a 50-50 solution with water when you clean your pantry. They help clear those trails that they leave to attract other ants.
- Sprinkle cinnamon, mint or black pepper throughout your pantry; ants do not like them.
Of course, it isn’t just comfort foods that ants like. Pretty much any type of food will attract them. I realize you know how to keep your 5-gallon plastic buckets safe but don’t forget the extra items you bring to your pantry, such as pemmican or seeds. Literally everything should be kept in airtight containers.
Spending a few extra dollars on ways to keep pests at bay could save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars in the long run.
What advice would you add? Share it in the section below:
Realistic Prepping Priorities New preppers tend to get either very overwhelmed, discouraged, or both. They set the bar too high and tend to go to the extremes instead of setting realistic prepping priorities. Is a nuclear war possible? Yep. Is a solar flare taking out all electrical power on the planet possible? You bet! …
What You Should Look for When Shopping for Food Storage Being prepared is big business and it is easy for the newbie to get completely overwhelmed. Each company claims they are the best value for your dollar, or the best priced, or the highest nutritional value; what about the things that are best for your family? Shopping …
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The Best OTC Painkillers to Stock Up On: Behind the Brands Do you know what’s in the painkillers in your cabinet? Despite all the brands on the shelf, most over the counter painkillers boil down to five ingredients. Some of them don’t even vary in dosage size. Besides the fancy pill designs and different colored …
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Stockpiling Ammo For SHTF – How Much is Enough? Answering the old-age question “How much ammo is enough?” is more challenging than actually gathering the ammo. There are all sorts of debates regarding this topic and each person thinks they have the right answer. In fact, the answer is never simple and it’s more than …
The Best Food to Dehydrate for Long Term Survival Storage First you back stock your pantry and keep it at a level where it could sustain you and your family for 72 hours. Then you step it up a notch, get some shelving, and store enough food for a few weeks. Before long you have …
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Stores That Hand Out 5 Gallon Buckets Free Now is the time for winning the resource game. We live in an age of excess and preppers all over should take advantage of this. I don’t know about your but I use 5 gallon buckets for tons of things. I mix fertilizer in them, bring home …
10 How-To Books Worth Owning They say knowledge is power and that you need wits to survive when the world around you crumbles. As preppers, we are used to stockpile food, water and survival gear. We gather all the things we might need during a crisis and we hope for the best. However, gathering knowledge …
Growing a Robust Pantry There is more to having a well stocked pantry than just buying a bunch of food and putting it on a shelf. A robust pantry has a healthy mix of home canned and store bought foods. A pantry is a revolving thing and though it can take a bit to start, …
Don’t Overlook These 6 Preps It can be overwhelming when you’re trying to get your preps in order. It seems there is so much to consider and plan for! There is the food, water, and first aid to consider. Every prepper worth their salt takes care of the most basic needs first before they tackle …
When stockpiling supplies in your home for survival and disaster preparedness, there are certain items that may run out quicker than you realize.
Think about it: A large-scale economic collapse is going to last for months, if not years. An EMP attack will knock the power grid down on a national scale for an equal amount of time, if not longer.
Here are six items to consider buying more of:
1. Baking soda
This is truly one of the most overlooked survival items on the planet. It is one of the best all-around cleaning and personal hygiene product that you can buy – and it’s cheap. With baking soda, you can make soap, shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant, dishwashing soap, and a cleaning agent for floors and furniture.
Without batteries, how are you to power your electronic items and your flashlights? The best kinds of batteries to buy in bulk are common types such as AA or AAA, but you also will want to store plenty of more unique types, for any special devices. For example, many heavy-duty flashlights will require D batteries.
Fire is imperative in any survival situation, because it can provide you with warmth, light, comfort, security and a way to cook food or boil water.
Your best move will be to focus on purchasing a variety of fire-starters — lighters, matches and magnesium flint strikers — rather than just one type, so that you can have options.
Gone are the days of bows and arrows. Sure, you can build or use those kinds of more primitive weapons if firearms are not available, but you simply cannot call yourself truly protected in this society without guns.
Most prepping experts seem to agree that a minimum of 1,000 rounds stored per caliber is a good baseline. Nonetheless, even that much ammo may not last as long as you think it will. Consider storing more.
There’s a good chance that food was the first item you thought of when you started reading this article. Of course, it’s best to be self-sufficient, but the best kinds of foods to store for survival are ones that are both nutritious and long-lasting. Examples include white rice (avoid brown rice because it spoils), beans of virtually any kind, MREs (not the most tasty, but they still last a long time), canned meats and vegetables, sugar and honey.
Even though water is all around us in various forms, having access to clean and purified water for both drinking and personal hygiene purposes is an absolute must. Additionally, have plenty of emergency water filters. Store water in clean containers of various sizes and be sure to rotate it out at least once every six months to ensure it remains in good condition.
What would you add to our list? Share your thoughts in the section below:
It’s hard to quantify, but the modern prepping movement has at least, in part, been caused by the government. I am not referencing fear in the government doing something stupid that would force us into survival mode (although that is possible), but instead in promoting the idea of disaster preparedness.
FEMA’s Ready.gov website contains a host of information on how to prepare for a pending disaster, and radio commercials promote the idea, too. While not the best information in the world, it’s a good starting point for the novice prepper.
Of course, many if not most preppers don’t pay much attention to the FEMA website. Part of that could be because few of us trust the government all that much. But a much bigger part is that the government’s idea of prepping really doesn’t go far enough.
Let’s take a look at the list of Suggested Emergency Food Supplies that FEMA has on their website:
- Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, vegetables and a can opener
- Protein or fruit bars
- Dry cereal or granola
- Peanut butter
- Dried fruit
- Canned juices
- Non-perishable pasteurized milk
- Food for infants
- Comfort/stress foods
That’s it — a dozen things. While all of those are good choices, there’s no way that I would consider them enough. But then, I take a much different view of survival than what FEMA is promoting.
FEMA takes the stance that you only need to be ready to take care of yourself for three days. That’s their target reaction time. At the end of the three days, FEMA supposedly will have assistance in place. There’s only one thing … FEMA has a very poor track record of meeting that goal.
So when FEMA talks about stockpiling food, they only talk about stockpiling three days of it. That’s probably where the idea of a bug-out bag only having three days of food originates. Personally, I don’t feel that three days is anywhere near enough, especially since I have no intention of ending up in a FEMA camp, waiting for the government to decide to let me go.
There were people digging in dumpsters, looking for food, six weeks after both Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy (which occurred in Republican and Democratic administrations). That doesn’t give me a whole lot of faith in FEMA’s abilities. But I’m also concerned that whatever FEMA gives out, comes with a price. The price of government meddling in our lives. That’s a much higher price than paying for my own food, to build a descent stockpile.
Let’s go back to that list for a minute. While the foods contained in it are all good choices for a survival situation, there really isn’t enough there to create actual meals, unless you stockpile canned goods that can be put together to make a meal. While that is possible, it’s not anyone’s first choice. Canned foods do provide nutrition, but they are severely lacking in flavor.
If all you’re talking about is surviving three days, that’s not really an issue. You can live on peanut butter crackers and dried fruit for three days. For that matter, you can live without it for three days, just about as well. But you can’t simply buy more of the foods mentioned on this list and expect to have a three- or six-month stockpile. You’ll have to add other foods to it. I’m not going to talk about what other foods you should stockpile, as I’ve written other articles about it. Try this article or this one for more information.
Another problem with the list is that not all of these foods will store for a prolonged period of time, without rotating your stock. While some, like canned goods will last a long time, there are other things, like breakfast cereal and crackers, which will quickly become stale and unpalatable.
FEMA also suggests that you “choose foods your family will eat.” While that may seem to make sense, most of our families aren’t going to go for a healthy diet of survival food; they’re going to want something tasty. In other words, they’re going to want the same sorts of junk food that they’re used to eating. That doesn’t work, and it’s actually totally contradictory to the list of foods they’ve put together.
I prefer to say, “Figure out how to make the foods you are going to have to stockpile for survival palatable for your family.” This requires figuring out how to take the foods that you stockpile and adapting their flavor to meet your family’s tastes. While not easy, this is actually possible. All you need is a stock of the right spices, plenty of salt and maybe a few sauces, like spaghetti sauce.
You’ll have to do some experimenting to find ways of preparing the survival foods you’re going to stockpile in ways that will be palatable to your family. Take the time to make up some recipes, and make a small batch and test it on your family. If it doesn’t work, try modifying. That usually means adding more spices to give it more flavor.
I stockpile plenty of spaghetti sauce and cream of mushroom soup, as well as the spices used in making my own spaghetti sauce, so that I can restock from tomatoes I grow in my garden.
So, yes, the FEMA list contains a few items that should be in any stockpile. Just don’t stop there.
What do you think of FEMA’s tips and list? Share your thoughts in the section below:
How To Make An Archer’s Thumb Ring From Bone, Antler Or A Spoon I am no expert what so ever on archery or hunting with bows… That being said I did a little research and learned that you can have a steadier aim and hold the bow drawn longer than most people who do not …
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There are some good guidelines and tips on stockpiling ammo that will simplify this process for you and make it easier than it sounds on some forums you may have come across.
Useful Machines Made From Bicycles That Could Be Very Handy Bicycles will be a much-needed commodity if SHTF. Fuel will have run out after a couple of days and bikes will probably be the only form of transport easily available.I Would even suggest investing in cheap older bikes just for this post! I couldn’t believe how …
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Why You Need To Stockpile Supplements For SHTF I am not a doctor or a medical professional this is for information purposes only. Please consult with a medical professional if you have any questions or you start to take any supplements. Even in healthy people, multivitamins and other supplements may help to prevent vitamin and …
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A good stockpile of food will go a long way toward helping you survive the aftermath of any disaster or life crisis, especially when grocery stores are emptied.
In fact, I’d go so far as to say that there are people who are not preppers who nevertheless instinctively know to stockpile food. This really isn’t surprising when you consider that through most of mankind’s history, stockpiling food was essential to survival — specifically surviving the winter months. During those months, wildlife is bedded down trying to stay warm and plants are dormant. If one didn’t have a good stockpile of food, their chances of survival were pretty darn slim.
But knowing to stockpile food and knowing what to stockpile are two different things. The vast majority of what the average American family eats is unsuitable for stockpiling, because it falls into one of three categories:
- Junk food – Lots of carbs, lots of sugar, lots of salt and lots of chemicals, but not much nutrition.
- Fresh food – Foods that won’t keep without refrigeration.
- Frozen food – It will begin to spoil within two days of losing electrical power.
So we need to come up with other foods — foods that will give us a lot of nutrition and also have the ability to be stored for a prolonged period of time. Here are what we consider the 15 most important ones:
- Beans – This is one of the more common survival foods. Not only are beans plentiful and cheap, but they provide a lot of protein — something that’s hard to find without meat.
- White rice – The perfect companion to beans. An excellent source of carbohydrates, and it stores well. [Note: Don’t store brown rice, which contains oils and will spoil.]
- Canned vegetables – A good way of adding micro-nutrients to your survival diet. Canned goods keep well, long past the expiration date on the label.
- Canned fruit – For something sweet, adding canned fruit allows you a nice change of diet. Being canned, they keep as well as the vegetables do.
- Canned meats – Of all the ways of preserving meat, canning is the most secure in protecting the meat from decomposition. While it doesn’t typically have as good a flavor as fresh meat, it still provides animal protein at the most reasonable price you’ll find.
- Honey – As long as you can keep the ants out of it, honey keeps forever. Plus, it is beneficial during cold season.
- Salt – Nature’s preservative. Most means of preserving foods require the use of salt. In addition, our bodies need to consume salt for survival.
- Pasta products – Pasta is a great source of carbohydrates, allowing you a lot of variety in your cooing. Besides that, it’s a great comfort food for kids. Who doesn’t like spaghetti?
- Spaghetti sauce – Obviously, you need this to go with the pasta. But it is also great for hiding the flavor of things your family doesn’t like to eat. Pretty much anything, with spaghetti sauce on it, tastes like Italian food — whether you’re talking about some sort of unusual vegetable or a raccoon that you caught pilfering from your garden.
- Jerky – While expensive to buy, jerky is pure meat, with only the addition of spices. Its high salt content allows it to store well, making it a great survival food. It can be reconstituted by adding it to soups and allowing it to cook.
- Peanut butter – Another great source of protein and another great comfort food, especially for the kiddies. It might be a good idea to stockpile some jelly to go with it.
- Wheat flour – For baking, especially baking bread. Bread is an important source of carbohydrates for most Americans. Flour also allows you to shake up the diet with the occasional batch of cookies or a cake.
- Baking powder & baking soda – Also for making the bread, cookies or cakes.
- Bouillon – Otherwise known as “soup starter,” this allows you to make the broth without having to boil bones on the stove for hours. Soups will probably be an important part of anyone’s diet in a survival situation, as they allow you to eat almost anything. Just throw it together in a pot and you’ve got soup.
- Water – We don’t want to forget to stockpile a good supply of water. You’ll go through much more than you expect. Experts recommend a minimum of one gallon per person per day, but remember: That’s just for drinking.
While this doesn’t constitute a complete list of every type of food that you should stockpile, it’s a good starting point. You’ll want more variety than this, but in reality, your family can survive for quite a while with just the 15 things on this list.
As your stockpile grows, add variety to it. One way of doing that is to create a three-week menu, with the idea of repeating that menu over and over. If you have everything you need to cook everything on that menu, you’ll have a fair assortment of food, and enough so that your family shouldn’t grow tired of it.
What would you add to our list? Share your tips in the section below:
Emergency Lighting Under 9 Bucks Affordable emergency lighting is now at your fingertips! The Luna LED Light is an awesome, very cheap prepping item I would highly recommend to have not only for the home, in case of a power cut, but to keep in a bug out bag and for camping! As you can see …
The 4 Levels Of Preparedness You Should Know Back in the 90s, general preparedness was a normal activity. People were stockpiling food and water in order to be prepared for whatever reason. Nowadays, preparedness is seen as something extreme by the mainstream society. Many people have no idea what it means to be prepared and …
How To Build Your One Year Supply Of Food Everyone’s storage plan should include bulk food storage items, for example, oats, rice, salt, etc. These basics are needed in everyone’s home storage. Long-term food storage is cheap and healthy and very do-able. Having enough food for one whole year is every preppers dream. A lot …
How To Make Cheeseburger Beef Jerky You read the title right! How to make cheeseburger beef jerky. I thought I saw just about every jerky there was… that’s why I love doing this, I learn something new everyday. Jerky is tasty and comes in all variety of flavors from spicy to sweet. I was trying …
Updated Top Barter List You May Want To Consider Stockpiling Having extra supplies for bartering should be on every prepper’s plan. This enables you to barter for goods or services that you otherwise would be without! You don’t have to have a set list per-say, but think about what you would need if SHTF and …
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Best Practices For Long Term Food Storage When it comes to food preservation, this article is one of the best… It goes over some of the main ways to preserve foods and goes into detail about it. If SHTF we will need to have enough food stockpiled to survive, that’s the plan anyway. So any …
Having an ample supply of food during an emergency is essential. But what do you do if all of your “regular” storage places are fully stocked and you’re running out of room? This is where creativity comes in handy.
Here’s 10 often-forgotten areas in your home where you can store food.
1. On wall shelves. Look around your home or apartment. Often, this is the best way to store extra food, even if it is in plain sight. Build wood shelves, low and high. Or buy shelves at the big box store. Either way, you often can double the amount of food you store.
2. In cloth closets. Do you really need 30 pairs of shoes? Twenty boxes of keepsakes? Our closets have plenty of space for storing extra food – if we only toss some of our clutter.
3. Under floor cabinets. There is typically a place known as a toe-kick beneath the floor cabinets between the cabinet and floor. Remove the board to reveal the empty space. Place back in a manner that looks natural.
4. Under couches and beds. Obvious, right? But lots of people forget this one. Yes, the same areas where you hid toys as a kid can be used to store food, too.
5. Inside a lamp. Be sure to buy a lamp with a hollow base. Remove the base and place food inside. If the lamp does not have a hollow base, you can sometimes manually hollow it.
6. Behind your headboard. The area between the wall and your bed can serve as a crafty hiding spot. Place buckets or boxes of food there and cover with a decorative blanket.
7. Inside the box spring. For those who don’t know, box springs are hollowed inside. You easily can fit multiple canned goods and bags of food without being noticed.
8. Under stair steps. To make it look organized and natural, you even can use an old dresser with several drawers.
9. At the bottom of potted plants. Make sure they are airtight. You don’t want dirt or water seeping into your food.
10. In a container buried in the backyard. This is for those who truly have run out of options. It requires a weatherproof container. One idea is to place sealed bags inside large buckets before burying them. Place a marker somewhere near so you don’t forget where they are.
Do you have any unique ideas for stockpiling food? Share your tips in the section below:
How to Purify Pine Resin and Make Pine Pitch Purifying pine resin is the key to make some great wilderness glue also known as pine pitch. Make some today and get some classic wilderness skills down! Well, I have to share this topic with you as my mind has been blown. Let me first start by …
How To Build A Semi-Permanent Family Shelter Shelter is one of the most important things you need to know how to make in an emergency situation. This awesome, family size shelter is just a large “debris shelter” for all intense and purposes but with the added protection from the rain because of the tarp or …
How To Make Your Own Vanilla Extract From Scratch Making your own vanilla extract from scratch is so easy. This is Perfect to keep stockpiled for when SHTF. Yummy vanilla… It’s easy to imagine that a lot of the kitchen items we now take for granted will be scarce if SHTF and since I like …
How To Make An Awesome Shirt From A Wool Blanket Have you ever heard anyone say invest in wool? Well I would, It’s getting more and more expensive and it has so much potential when SHTF. Wool is just fantastic… There are several kinds of blends of wool you need to watch out for! There …
Growing Rice 101 – Free PDF Knowing how to grow rice could mean the difference of surviving or dying … Rice is full of carbohydrates and Rice cultivation is well-suited to countries and regions with low labor costs and high rainfall, as it is labor-intensive to cultivate and requires ample water. However, rice can be grown …
13 Survival Foods That Will Outlast You If a regional or global disaster will hit tomorrow, do you have all the basics like food and water covered? Will you be able to survive with what you stored in your pantry? Stockpiling food and water shouldn’t be seen as a controversial activity and there are a …
Six Planning Tips for Starting a Garden from Scratch Spring will be here in a couple of months and if you are new to gardening this article may give you the upper hand, you may have tried before and had failed crops or the veggies didn’t grow well enough. I scoured the internet for hours looking …
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10 Canning Tips for the Newbie Canner My wife and I can all the time and love it. It gets us together as a family unit and after a good batch of canning you can sit back and look at them and say, “well dear, that’s us good for a week or so if SHTF” …
Top 10 Stress Relieving Teas Stress can be a killer. It’s been proven over and over again. Imagine if SHTF, stress will be a big factor in our lives whether we like it or not. Even if you had all the food and ammo to protect you stockpile, you WILL be stressed about when the …
17 Great Ways to Utilize 2-Liter Soda Bottles for Survival See how using old 2-liter bottles for survival could change your way of thinking about preparedness. Save you money and make you more self-reliant than ever before! I am sure many of you know that millions on millions of these little plastic gold mines gets …
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How To Make Grandma’s Laundry Detergent Who could argue with Grandma? They have such great knowledge and this article is great! It shows you how to make an age old recipe that is great for your clothes and great for your wallet! It is important to remember that buying laundry soap from the store can …
12 Fastest Growing Vegetables I found a great website that shows us 12 vegetables that are fast growing and in a survival situation these vegetables might be a handy source of nutrients if SHTF. As a side note, remember if you can’t keep up with the fast growing vegetables you can always can them as …
Wintertime is a wonderful season — full of holidays, resolutions and relaxation. However, it is also the time of the year when our immune systems are the most vulnerable.
Of course, it is best to prevent illnesses, but it’s just as important to be ready if an illness does strike. That means you need a well-stocked medicine cabinet. Here are 17 natural treatments you should stockpile:
Vitamins and Supplements
1. Vitamin C. This should be taken daily, as vitamin C is critical for boosting the immune systems, for preventing illnesses, and for fighting infections.
2. Vitamin B. It serves as a pick-me-up and helps the body generate energy. It is good to have on hand to combat fatigue.
3. Calcium and magnesium. Many of us suffer from a lack of essential nutrients, and calcium and magnesium are two important ones the body needs. Take a daily supplement if you do not get enough in your diet. Both of these are good for relieving cramps and for relaxing.
4. Cod liver oil. Cod liver oil is considered a superfood, a crucial omega 3 fatty acid, and is extremely high in vitamins A and D. Take it daily, but especially when you feel a cold or the flu coming on. It is also a healthy fat to help lower bad cholesterol levels.
Herbs and Tea
5. Mullein. This is an herb that is useful for treating a sore or scratchy throat. It can help to ease coughs, too. One good way to use mullein is to boil it and then inhale the steam. It can contribute to clearing congestion and blocked airways.
6. Chamomile. Chamomile tea is great for soothing an upset stomach, easing anxiety and tension, and for treating insomnia.
7. Peppermint. Peppermint tea can fight fatigue, ease nausea, battle congestion, open airways, and promote overall well-being.
8. Ginger. Ginger is a natural antioxidant and has anti-inflammatory qualities. Furthermore, it is good for heart health. It can boost your immune system, aid in indigestion, fight bacterial and fungal infections, and even help with the symptoms of diabetes. Ginger root is excellent as a tea, or it can be added to your food.
9. Turmeric root. Most people use fresh turmeric root to treat aches and pains, as it is a natural pain reliever and aids in blood circulation. You can add it to your food recipes, or drink it as a tea. Be aware that turmeric can be hard to absorb, so add black pepper or coconut oil to your recipes to aid in absorption. Here is a fresh, turmeric root tea recipe.
10. Tea tree essential oil. Tea tree essential oil is a natural antiseptic and is antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal. Use it in a vaporizer to purify the air in your home and to kill germs. Furthermore, you can add it to a spray bottle with water and spray all the surfaces in your home to disinfect them.
As a first-aid treatment, swipe cuts to prevent an infection. Tea tree oil is also a good treatment for acne and fungal conditions such as athlete’s foot.
11. Lavender essential oil. Lavender essential oil is an all-around healing agent. It treats cuts and wounds, rashes, insect bites and acne.
Since lavender is anti-inflammatory and analgesic, it is perfect for treating aches and pains and even headaches. Mix it with a carrier oil such as sweet almond oil and massage it into the affected areas.
Lavender is a calming oil and can help with deep relaxation. It’s a natural anxiety and depression remedy. It can treat insomnia, too. To use lavender essential oil, vaporize it in a diffuser, add several drops to a hot bath, or use it as a massage oil to receive all of its incredible benefits.
12. Rosemary essential oil. Rosemary is a natural warming oil and is anti-inflammatory. It is great for relieving fatigued, overworked, aching muscles. Use it in a carrier oil to create a soothing massage oil.
Rosemary essential oil also has stimulant properties which, when inhaled, can help to wake up the senses and help with concentration. Furthermore, it’s a natural stress-reliever. To use rosemary essential oil, vaporize it in a diffuser, use it in a hot bath, or create a massage blend.
13. Eucalyptus essential oil. Eucalyptus essential oil is a natural decongestant, so it’s perfect for treating colds and the flu. It also has anti-inflammatory properties, so it can ease aches and pains. Use it in a diffuser or steam inhalation to help clear the senses. Alternatively, use eucalyptus oil with a carrier oil as a chest or muscle rub.
14. Peppermint essential oil. Peppermint essential oil is good for treating nausea, for fighting fatigue, for relieving congestion, and as a warming oil. To acquire the benefits of peppermint oil directly, drop several drops on a tissue and deeply inhale. This oil is also good when used in steam inhalation, a bath, as a warming, massage rub, and in a room diffuser.
First-Aid Natural Treatments
15. Honey. It is a natural healer and an antioxidant. In first-aid, honey can act as a band-aid. It will protect the wound, prevent infection and begin the healing process.
Honey is also good for preventing and treating colds, relieving coughs and sore throats, and for easing nausea. You can add honey to your tea to help lower your cholesterol.
16. Activated charcoal. This is a good remedy for treating gas and upset stomachs. It is also great for fighting food poisoning.
17. Epsom salts. Epsom salts are good in baths when you are sick. They can help to lower a fever and reduce bodily aches and pains. They also can help to reduce tension and anxiety. If you have a headache, try to lightly inhale Epsom salts to help relieve it.
What would you add to our list? Share your stockpiling tips in the section below:
How To Build And Why You Need A Ladybug Garden I am glad I am sharing this with you today, I plan on starting my survival garden this spring and the one thing I have read about gardening is if you are not careful and do not use pesticides you can get a case of …
DIY Self-Pressurizing, Chimney-Type Alcohol Stove If you want one of the most efficient survival cooking stoves known to man, you are at the right place… Don’t spend a fortune on the big heavy propane stoves when you can make a self-pressurizing, chimney stove for cheap. This is a great project for anyone to try out. …
Cash? Gold? Silver? Bitcoins? Everything we do in life involves money, being in the preparedness community, the question now is what kind of money. That probably makes no sense but im sorry to say my friends… the world is changing whether we like it or not. You have to adapt in order to survive and …
For the dedicated homesteader or prepper, stockpiling isn’t something with a beginning or an end, it just is. You start your adventure by building a stockpile of food and you never really end it. While the heavy push for stockpiling might come to an end, the reality of stockpiling never does. You just find more and more things that you should add to your stockpile, wondering why you hadn’t thought of them before.
The thing is, without knowing beforehand what sorts of emergencies we might be faced with, there’s really no way of knowing everything we are going to need. So, we have to make some assumptions and build our stockpile based on them. But those assumptions can change with time, which means that our need for certain supplies might change, as well. So, we just keep adding and adding, making sure we have what we’ll need, when the time comes.
There are countless lists out there of things you should stockpile. Most have more or less the same things on them — perhaps because we tend to learn from each other. That’s good on one hand, but it means that everyone is likely to be forgetting the same things.
That’s where this list comes in. I’ve been at this for a while, and I’ve collected some things in my stockpile which I’ve discovered others tend to forget. So, I’m going to try and plug those holes. Hopefully, you’ll find a few things on this list which you hadn’t thought of before. Even better would be to find that you’ve thought of the same things that I have, and you don’t have any holes in your stockpile. Either way, I expect this to be useful for you to check yourself against.
Food is where we all start, but have you thought of these?
1. Spices. Your meals are going to get awfully bland if you don’t have spices to flavor them. What you have in your kitchen might last a few months, but that’s about it.
2. Salt. Everyone has salt in their stockpile, but do you have enough? Salt isn’t just necessary for flavoring our food; it’s also for preserving meat. If you’re going to hunt at all, you need a couple hundred pounds of salt on hand for meat preservation.
3. Bouillon. Otherwise known as soup starter, mixed with water, this provides you with the stock. Somehow, I think soups are going to be a big deal in any post-disaster menu.
Most of us are planning on producing at least some of our own food, if not all of it, in the wake of a disaster. But do you have everything you need to expand your garden to that size? A 20-foot garden plot isn’t going to be enough; you’re going to need to turn your entire backyard into a garden.
4. Fertilizer. Few people bother stockpiling fertilizer, but if you’re going to have to expand your garden rapidly, you’re going to need a mountain of it. The best, of course, is a mountain of compost.
5. Animal feed. Those chickens, rabbits or goats you have are going to need to eat — or you won’t be able to eat them. Few people bother growing feed for their animals. So you’d better have something on hand.
6. Insecticides. The wrong bugs could cause you to lose your entire garden. I don’t want to think of how much I’ve lost to grub worms, let alone other types of pests. You probably won’t be able to find the insecticides – organic or otherwise — you need after a disaster.
We all know we need a first-aid kit, although most don’t go far enough in stockpiling replacement supplies for theirs. But there are a few other key items you might want to consider.
7. Vitamins. If your diet isn’t going to be as well-balanced as it should be, a good quality multivitamin might go a long way towards keeping your health up.
8. Spare glasses. For those who wear prescription glasses, this will be a necessity if they are going to do anything to help keep their families alive.
9. Reading glasses. Even if you don’t need them now, don’t assume you never will. Reading glasses are great for any close-up work or working with small things.
10. Activated carbon (sometimes called activated charcoal). This is useful for a variety of things, such as making your own gas masks and purifying water. It also can be taken for stomach problems.
11. Spares for your first-aid kit. I know I just said this, but it can’t be overstated.
We all have pieces of equipment that we’re planning on using to help us stay alive after a disaster. But what if something happens to that equipment? Are you prepared to make even simple repairs? If not, that wonderful tool or other gadget might just turn into a paperweight.
12. Coleman lantern pump rebuild kit. If you have the old style Coleman lanterns or their dual-fuel stove, you know about the pump in the fuel tank. These last well, but eventually need new seals. A rebuild kit doesn’t cost much and can keep that equipment working.
13. Small engine parts. If you’re planning on using any gas-powered tools, such as a chainsaw or a roto-tiller, you’d better have at least the basic parts, such as spark plugs, air filters and priming bulbs. That way, you can keep them running.
14. Specific parts for critical equipment. Everything has critical parts and short-life parts in it. The manufacturers should be able to tell you what those are and be selling spares. Make sure you put in a good supply.
15. Water filters. If you’re using any sort of water filtration system which has filter cartridges, figure out how many filters you need to have and then multiply it by about 10. You can’t have enough.
Few people think about stockpiling clothing — which means that there will be a lot of people wondering what to do when the time comes. A few specific things you need to think of are:
16. Kids’ clothing. Kids grow a lot, and you need to have larger sizes on hand than what they are using now.
17. Work gloves. I guarantee you, you’ll need them. But they tend to wear out, so have some spares.
18. Rough clothing. Most of us don’t wear very rugged clothing. If you don’t, stock up.
19. Work or hiking boots. Especially important if you have to bug out.
That’s our list – what would you add to it? Share your tips in the section below:
Specific Seed Saving Instructions for Common Vegetables If you grow your own garden every year and always wondered how to save the seeds, this is your article. If you are a prepper, this article will show you how to collect and store the seeds from common vegetables. It is vital that we save the seeds …
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Quick & Cheap DIY Mead Brewing For The Colder Months This is a really cool project. A few months ago I posted How To Make Mead (Honey Wine) and that went down really well, a lot of you commented how yummy and easy it is to make. Well over at prepperlink.com they have an even easier and cheaper …
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Drugs and TEOTWAWKI = Crazy People? I found a detailed article on drugs post SHTF, I had not thought about this much as myself and family members are not on anything that would be detrimental to our health, mentally and physically if SHTF. After reading this article it has made me think more about maybe …
Not long ago in America, the conventional wisdom was that fresh drinking water always would be available. But with recent water crises in West Virginia and then Flint, Mich. – as well as droughts throughout the country – that no longer is the case.
And what if there is a long-term blackout or a terrorist attack that impacts the water supply?
Now, more than ever, it’s essential to stockpile water for your survival. That’s the topic of this week’s edition of Off The Grid Radio, as we talk to Daisy Luther, a survival expert and the author of The Prepper’s Water Survival Guide: Harvest, Treat, and Store Your Most Vital Resource.
She tells us everything we need to know about storing water long-term, including:
- How much water the average person should store.
- What she considers the best way to store water.
- Which type of plastic she recommends to stockpile water.
- How long water will last in storage and remain potable.
Finally, Daisy tells us the cheapest ways to store water. We also discuss water filters.
This week’s show could change the way you stockpile – for the better. Don’t miss it!
I stay prepped pretty much all year long, but I like to turn things up a notch during winter. Where I live, the nearest major store is an hour and a half round trip. The distance to town is merely an inconvenience in summer, but winter weather can turn the commute into something stressful and even potentially dangerous.
As with many situations in life, it is the little things that can make or break the success of stockpiling for winter. Sure, whole-house generators are a nice perk—and are understandably crucial in some circumstances—but it works for me to concern myself first with the small items. The problem is that small everyday needs can be all too easily overlooked. Here is a short list of must-haves to help you start your own winter stockpile, and a few hints about fine-tuning the list for the needs of your own household.
First, remember that it is about the basics: water, food, shelter, heat, safety, hygiene and comfort for the entire household. Humans, pets and livestock will need to eat, drink and be safe and healthy. Additionally, your location or relationships might mean that neighbors and relatives will be looking to you in the event of a winter emergency, and you will want to be prepared for whatever level of sharing you are willing and able to accept.
For me, winter stockpiles are at least as much about not having to go out when the roads are slippery as it is being ready for a catastrophic event. I focus most of my preparedness efforts on the occurrences that are likely to happen. My winter supplies are usually planned around the likelihood of inclement weather or finding stores sold out of what I need, or even run-of-the-mill unrelated emergencies such as a last-minute work deadline or having a sick animal.
1. Water. You will need some for drinking, some for cooking, and some for your animals. Additionally, you will need water for sanitation and hygiene—brushing teeth, washing, and flushing the toilet. People often do not realize how much water they go through in a day. When considering how much water to stockpile, spend a few days being aware of every drop of water you use. Every time you turn on a faucet, imagine instead having to get that water from a jar or bucket in an emergency.
I keep between six and eight half-gallon mason jars of drinking water tucked away in my cellar pantry at all times. As winter approaches I increase my stores of drinking water, and add at least 15 gallons in lidded buckets for flushing. During winters when I am keeping large livestock, my water stockpile multiplies exponentially. Cows drink a lot.
Your water use may be more or less than mine. If you are unsure, it is better to overestimate your water needs than to underestimate them. If you end up not using the stored winter water, no harm done. Just pour it out onto the garden in spring and start over next season.
2. Food. The important thing about food is to stick with what you will eat. Sure, there might be a sale on cans of anchovies at the liquidation center. But if your family would not eat anchovies unless you were literally starving, pass them by and spend a little more to stock up on what you will eat. Tailor your food supplies to that which can be cooked on whatever equipment you will have available to you if the power goes out, or food that can be eaten cold.
“Oooooh,” my brother messaged me one day last winter, “I have a quarter inch of snow! I better run to the store to buy bread and milk and eggs!”
The joke among those of us who stay prepared all the time is that everyone seems to be in desperate need of milk, bread and eggs whenever a storm is predicted. We watch the TV news and see shelves and milk coolers stripped bare, and long lines at the registers. Don’t get caught being one of those people. Buy a loaf of bread, a package of frozen egg products, and a box of shelf-stable milk the next time you shop for food, and make room for the bread and eggs in your freezer. But plan on never using them—instead, commit right now to staying ahead on all of your grocery necessities. Pick up a gallon of fresh milk a couple of days before the current one is gone. Don’t get down to the last crust before shopping for bread. Put pasta on your shopping list ahead of time.
Do not forget food for animals. Keep pet food, grain and hay stockpiled as much as you can for the winter. If your goats go through 200 pounds of grain or 20 bales of hay a month, keep that amount as a baseline, always buying new as soon as you dip below a month’s worth.
3. Medication. Winter is not the time to run out of over-the-counter remedies for colds, headaches and minor injuries. Whatever your go-to is, from multi-symptom nighttime cold syrup to St. John’s wort tincture, stock up now.
Prescription medications can be a little more challenging to stay ahead of. There is a specific window of time during which pharmacies can legally refill medications—in other words, they cannot refill your 90-day prescription just a month after filling it the last time—but there is often a week or so of leeway. Be diligent, and do not wait until you are down to your last day to go for a refill.
4. Equipment and supplies for handling ice and snow. Depending upon your geography and needs, this might be shovels, snow scoops, roof rakes, chemical ice melt, ice creepers, car windshield scrapers, and more. Buy it now, while it is available, instead of rushing out right before a big storm only to discover that the best quality and least expensive options are sold out, leaving you only the ones nobody else wants.
5. Alternative heating. This looks different in every home. If it is not very cold outside and your house was warm before you lost power, you might be able to get by overnight and even for a few days with only heavy clothing and blankets. Other contingency plans include a wood-burning appliance or another choice of heater run by natural gas or a generator and the fuel it needs to run. Remember that equipment which is designed to run outdoors can cause carbon monoxide poisoning indoors, so whatever you use, make sure it is safe and that you know how to operate it properly. But if you are going to burn wood or propane, or rely on down-filled sleeping bags to keep you warm, stockpile what you need now.
6. Flashlights, lanterns and the batteries to run them. Have an absolute minimum of one lighting appliance per household member, and keep at least two full sets of batteries for each appliance. Always. I keep a flashlight, a small battery-operated lantern, or both, in almost every room in my house.
If the wind is howling and I think power might be interrupted, I keep a flashlight on my person so that I can use it to access other lights and necessities. I do not rely on gas lanterns or candles for power outage lighting, but I do keep a few around for absolute emergencies.
7. Basic household supplies. This varies greatly from one household to the next, but almost always includes batteries, toilet paper, tissues, diapers, and women’s hygiene products. These are the other items that are almost always sold out quickly when a storm is predicted. The way to avoid this is easy—stockpile! Keep an absolute minimum of a month’s worth on hand at all times, and you will be glad you did.
Just like you did with water, assess your needs ahead of time as you go about your daily routines. If you need kitty litter, paper towels, cigarettes or coffee, stock up now.
A lot of winter stockpiling is more about peace of mind than actual needs. Having enough of everything on hand reduces anxiety. Whether the weather forecast is calling for a blizzard of epic proportions or a few inches of slush, you will rest easy knowing you have done all you can to keep yourself and your family from falling in between a rock and a hard place.
What would you add to this list? Share your tips in the section below:
How To Make Almond Milk Powder I learn something new everyday. I never in a million years even thought that you could make almond milk powder. This is fabulous news because you do not have to rely on cows milk if it hits the fan. Almond milk is one of the most nutritious drinks for …
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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10 Things You’ll Regret Not Having Enough of When the SHTF When it really hits the fan the world as we know it will be one hostile and different place. Gone are the times you can just go to a grocery store and hand over a few bucks for a loaf of bread. Instead, you …
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6 Ways to Stack Your Firewood Having wood stockpiled is a must. It will heat your house if the power goes out. Cook your food, and bring you some relief if SHTF. Now, stacking the wood…. That’s a whole different kettle of fish! I have a wood pile in my back yard and I will be …
Hits And Misses After 6 Years Prepping Prepping, like anything else, changes over time. What you thought of, stocked, and learned at the beginning can be drastically different after a short amount of time. The beginning years prepping are usually gung ho about getting huge stocks of food, water, and gear. They tend to buy a …
How to Stockpile Food and Other Goods Cheaply Stockpiling can be an enormously expensive task if you go about it in the wrong way. Even if you’re doing all that you can to keep costs down, if you’re stockpiling for a big family, it can still be exceptionally pricey to get your stockpiles to where …
1 Year Emergency Food Storage For Less Than $300 I think I speak for us all when I say we all lack a decent emergency food supply. Some of us have some but nothing that could warrant us going off grid and surviving on our stockpiled food. Over at the seasonedcitizenprepper.com they have an article that …
How To Store Gas And Diesel For The Long-Term Everyone knows that having food and water storage is crucial for your SHTF plan, but gas storage is of almost equal importance. Until SHTF happens we will have no idea how much we rely on gas. Seriously, you may say to your self now, nah, I’ll …
An Essential Prep: Fish Antibiotics There’s a lot of information out there about storing fish antibiotics for survival stockpiles but how much of it is really true? Can you really get the same antibiotics that are prescribed without getting an actual prescription? The answer is a resounding YES! Fish antibiotics are an essential prep to …
Indoor Winter Gardening Tips and Tricks A Must Have In Case The SHTF I love gardening indoors, I love the smell and the ease of just walking into a room and getting a few tomatoes or a fresh crop of basil or mint. If SHTF or we have adverse weather knowing the tips and tricks …
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There are certain mistakes I see made over and over again among those in the preparedness community. Most of them are understandable. We live in a society where we have a plethora of resources and support available to us, and breaking out of that mindset and thinking of how to be truly self-sufficient is hard, even for those of us who are trying.
But if we are going to survive a major natural or man-made disaster, we’ve got to be ready to make it on our own. That means having both the knowledge and the supplies to do everything we need, for ourselves.
One area that is commonly overlooked is the area of medicine. Oh, we all have first-aid kits, and I’ve even seen some pretty good ones around. But that’s not the same as medical preparedness.
Let me enumerate some of the problems:
- Medical facilities and personnel becoming overwhelmed with the large number of people who get injured in the crisis and its aftermath.
- Lack of transportation making it difficult to get injured or sick personnel to medical facilities.
- Modern medical doctors and facilities not having electricity. Many hospitals only have about 48 hours of fuel for their generators.
- Breakdown of the supply chain, making resupply of even the most basic medical supplies iffy at best.
With all of this in mind, it’s clear that we need to be ready to take care of our own medical needs. That means much more than just having a little first-aid kit on hand. First of all, most first-aid kits can’t take care of a serious injury. And even those that can will quickly get depleted.
Here are a few of the top items you’ll need to stockpile, and stockpile well.
1. Bandages of all kinds (in bulk)
Injuries are common and will be even more common in a survival situation. When medical care is difficult to come by, any injury is serious. Injuries create openings in the skin by which bacteria and other pathogens can enter.
So, it’s important to clean, disinfect and protect even the smallest of injuries.
- For smaller injuries, cloth adhesive bandages are great. They stick better than the plastic kind, so they protect you better. That makes them worth the extra money they cost.
- For large injuries, one of the best bandages you can have is a sanitary napkin. They are sterile, and designed to absorb a large quantity of blood. They are also much cheaper than other sterile bandages.
- The new “cohesive” medical tape is much better than other types, in that it sticks to itself, rather than the patient. So, when you take it off, you won’t be pulling any hair out and causing the patient any extra pain.
Bandages really should be changed every 24 hours, or faster if they become blood soaked. So it’s easy to see how you could go through a lot of bandages quickly. It’s not unreasonable to think in terms of a few hundred of each size.
2. Gauze (in bulk)
Gauze is great for larger injuries, for times when you have to soak up blood or for cleaning off a wound. You can buy it in several forms, but probably the most common and most universally useful is in four-inch squares. These come in both sterile and non-sterile varieties.
When bandaging a wound, you need to use sterile dressings directly on the wound. But the second layer doesn’t have to be sterile. So, if you have a bleeding wound, you can use those four-inch non-sterile gauze pads on top of a sterile one, and save a lot of money.
Stretchable gauze is also useful, especially in cases where you need to protect the skin, but not necessarily soak up a lot of blood. Skin rashes are such a case. Once you medicate the rash, you should cover it for protection. Stretchable gauze is an easy way to do this. It can also be used in place of medical tape, although it doesn’t work quite as well.
3. Antiseptic cream, alcohol and hydrogen peroxide (lots of it)
Any wound needs to be cleaned and disinfected. The first step is to flush it with a sterile solution to remove debris. This could be clean drinking water. If it’s safe enough to drink, it’s safe enough for cleaning out a wound, too. But after that, something that will kill bacteria and other germs must be used.
Many people clean the wound with alcohol or hydrogen peroxide and then apply an antiseptic cream. This is ideal, as it provides the maximum protection. You really can’t be too careful where the possibility of infection exists.
4. Clotting agent
Clotting agents, like Quikclot or Celox, help to get wounds to stop bleeding and scab over quicker. This can be very useful in a situation where a wound is bleeding quickly. The more blood a person loses, the longer it takes them to heal. So, using a clotting agent helps to reduce their recovery time. It also can prevent them from bleeding out and dying.
These clotting agents are available either in a granulated powder that is sprinkled on the wound or embedded in bandages of various types (including a sponge). Either will work. The powder is useful for smaller wounds, but larger wounds require the bandages with the clotting agent included.
5. Personal protection equipment
It is important to do everything possible to prevent the spreading of infection and disease. For this reason, medical staff wear masks, gloves and eye protection. Well, if you’re going to be treating patients, you’ll need the same. Non-sterile gloves, which are sufficient for everything short of surgery, come in boxes of 100, in a variety of sizes. Buying them like that helps ensure that you’ll have them when you need them.
The most common place for pathogens to enter the body is the face. You have more naturally occurring openings in your skin, there in your face, than anywhere else in your body. That makes it necessary to protect your face from splashing blood and the droplets of sneezes. A medical face mask and simple plastic goggles is sufficient for this.
Gaping wounds need more than a bandage; they need the skin brought back together and held there for healing. In a hospital, they accomplish this with stitches. You can do the same, although it’s recommended to practice beforehand, as sewing up someone’s body is different than sewing on a button.
But there’s an easier way — adhesive sutures. 3M’s Steri-Strips and butterfly bandages both work well for this. While both are good, the Steri-Strips come in a package of five, which makes them much easier to work with.
7. Elastic bandages
Elastic bandages are useful for a host of things, especially dealing with broken or sprained limbs. Keep an assortment of sizes on hand, so that you have the right size for every need.
In order to be able to splint broken limbs, you’ll need something to use with the elastic bandages. In a pinch, sticks will work. But a Sam Splint is even better. This is a sheet of foam rubber-coated soft aluminum sheet, four inches wide. You can form it to fit the limb, and then attach it in place with the elastic bandages. Properly done, this will work almost as good as a cast.
8. Pain relievers
There are several different over-the-counter pain relievers available; if you consume mainstream medicine, stock them all. Different ones work differently with different people. That’s why ibuprofen might work well for one person, but not for another. You should have as a minimum:
- Ibuprofen (Advil)
- Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
- Naproxen (Aleve)
While it would be nice to have some stronger pain relievers on hand, those all require a prescription. If you have a good enough relationship with your doctor, you might be able to get some; but if not, you can’t even buy it in Mexico.
Antibiotics are another thing you usually need a prescription to buy. That’s mostly to protect people from misusing them. So if you do stock any, make sure you have written information on how to use them properly, specifically information on dosage and which one to use for which ailments.
Many homesteaders buy veterinary grades of antibiotics, for which you don’t need a prescription. They usually come out of the exact same factories from which human antibiotics come. Another way is to buy them in Mexico, if you happen to be traveling that way. In Mexico, you can buy them in any pharmacy.
10. Over-the-counter medicines
Finally, stock up on all of the common over-the-counter medicines you use. Remember, you won’t be able to get them during a disaster, and even though they don’t actually cure most things, they do alleviate the symptoms, making it much easier to carry on and do the things you need to be doing. Specifically, you should have:
- Antihistamine (Benadryl) — for runny nose.
- Decongestant — for stuffed up nose or sinus headache.
- Loperamide (Imodium) — anti-diarrheal.
- Meclizine (Dramamine) — helps prevent nausea and vomiting.
- Hydrocortisone cream — to help alleviate itching, such as from poison ivy.
- Omeprazole (Zantac) — for heartburn
- Clotrimazole (Lotrimin cream) — for fungal infections on the skin
When the next crisis hits — or the next snowstorm or flood – don’t be left wishing you had the right medical supplies on hand. Stock up now.
What would you add to our list? Share your tips in the section below:
MOSCOW — Experts says the Russian government is preparing its citizens for nuclear war with the United States following a series of curious events, including 40 million of its citizens participating in four days of civil defense drills held Oct. 4-8.
The drills referenced a nuclear war.
“If that should one day happen, each of you must know where the nearest bomb shelter is,” state-controlled television network NTV reminded viewers.
That statement was followed by a video describing the country’s options should a nuclear strike occur. The video even showed schoolchildren putting on gas masks.
Around 200,000 emergency services personnel and 50,000 vehicles took part in the drill, RT news reported. State and local governments also participated in what was designed to coordinate Russia’s response to a nuclear attack.
Russia will use nuclear weapons if the United States interferes in its military operations in Syria, warned Evgeny Kiselyov, a TV host sometimes described as Russia’s propagandist in chief. Kiselyov said American impudence would take “on nuclear dimensions,” ABC News reported.
“Russian is tired of arrogant American abuse,” he said.
Some Russians Think Nuclear War Is Imminent
“These are the most serious tensions between Moscow and Washington in decades,” Sergei Markov, a member of the Moscow-based Civic Chamber, told The Daily Beast. “The war might begin even before the November elections in the U.S.”
Markov added, “I personally plan to stock 200 cans of pork to be ready for a potential war crisis, and I advise everybody to do the same.”
Russian authorities are also ordering local governments to build bomb fallout shelters. That was the case in St. Petersburg, where managers of the Zenit Arena – a soccer stadium not yet completed – were told to start constructing such shelters, The Daily Beast reported.
At least one Russian legislator had a chilling warning for the United States.
“I cannot understand why the West cannot just leave us in peace, let us be,” State Duma Deputy Vadim Dengin told The Beast. “Americans should realize that it will be their children looking for shelters, too, if they are serious about attacking Russia.”
As Off The Grid News reported, Russia’s elderly are stockpiling food, believing that a war with the United States is imminent.
What is your reaction? Share your thoughts in the section below:
7 Different Ways To Naturally Preserve Foods Knowing how to preserve food can make all the difference in the world to your long term survival plan. When you think of preserving foods I bet you think of dehydrating, or freezing the food. Did you know that there are at least 7 different “natural” ways of preserving …
You probably have seen at least a dozen lists pertaining to what you should be stockpiling just in case disaster strikes.
It is a little hard to fathom that reality, but imagine going to Walmart or a similar store and finding aisles and aisles of empty shelves. You won’t be able to shop at Home Depot or Lowe’s either, and all of those Internet stores will be out of stock, too.
This means you need a stockpile of food, water and other essentials in your home. But there are a few more things you will want to add to the shelves.
The list below may seem a little weird — like, “Why would I need to stockpile that?” kind of strange. Well, you don’t know what you need until it’s gone, and these are some of those things you just really don’t want to have to try and do without. They are so cheap, they may even appear inconsequential. They’re not.
Here’s seven things you should be stockpiling:
1. Shoestrings are probably not on your radar, but you need them. Survival is going to be a lot of walking and outdoor work. Tying and retying your shoes weakens the strings. A broken shoestring is actually a big deal when you are trying to get around and your shoe is falling off. They are cheap, so load up on them in varying sizes.
2. Duct tape is something that appears on most survival/prepper lists, but a single roll is just not going to do it. You will discover you will need duct tape for just about everything. You could easily go through a roll in the first week if you are using plastic to cover the windows, fix broken glass and so on. Duct tape to waterproof shoes is a common trend in, but what they don’t tell you is you can burn through almost an entire roll on one pair of shoes.
3. Nails and screws. These are not always cheap, but if you visit some yard sales or thrift stores, you can get them for fairly cheap. Big buckets and cans of screws and nails, even if they are used and a little rusty, will prove invaluable when you are starting over from scratch. They can be used to build new shelters, repair existing structures or fix fences.
4. Reading glasses. You can pick them up for a buck at the dollar store. Buy a lot. If you have a slight vision impairment, you will want to be able to see to read, do any kind of detailed work or to see in general. When there are no more eye doctors or the like, you will want to have the extra glasses on hand.
5. Ziploc sandwich bags. Generic ones are fine. These bags will make life a little easier and cleaner. Packing food for a scouting trip, keeping medical supplies dry, storing dried herbs and so on is easier when you have sandwich bags. If first-aid supplies are in short supply, wrapping a sandwich bag around a bandage will help keep the injury and bandage dry if you are going to be in the rain or snow.
6. Paper plates and plastic utensils. They are a bit of a luxury, but imagine when you have no water. You won’t be able to wash dishes very often. You don’t want to eat off dirty dishes (it could make you sick) and you don’t want to leave a sink full of dirty dishes that will invite unwanted guests. Paper plates can be used and then burned for fuel.
7. Safety pins. They also are so versatile! Using them to hold up your pants, replace a broken zipper or as a makeshift hem are just some of the uses. You also can use them as a fishing hook or to hold a tent door closed. In a worst-case scenario, they can even be used as a self-defense weapon.
8. Gloves of all kinds. Exam, rubber and work gloves are going to be a huge help. Putting on a pair of exam gloves when you are butchering an animal is a nice luxury, especially if water is in short supply. Rubber gloves can be worn when you are cleaning up nasty business, including the bucket toilet. Work gloves will protect your hands from blisters when you are taking care of outside chores.
These are just a few things we tend to forget we have until we need them. Each of these items is fairly inexpensive and worth putting on the shelf. Do a little home inventory, like checking the junk drawer or that one shelf in the hall closet. You will likely discover more items that should be added to your stockpile list.
What would you add to our list? Share your tips in the section below:
11 Secrets To Properly Freezing Produce Are you sick of freezer burned food? Check out these amazing 11 secrets to properly freezing produce and have fantastic frozen food. Never throw away another frozen item again! How many times have you gone to the freezer and discovered that your food was freezer burned? I know I …
How To Build A Cold Room In Your Home Basement A cold room is a new term for a root cellar. Cold rooms / root cellars are for keeping food supplies at a low temperature and steady humidity. They keep food from freezing during the winter and keep food cool during the summer months to …
How to Can, Freeze, Dry and Preserve Any Fruit or Vegetable at Home Knowing How to Can, Freeze, Dry and Preserve Any Fruit or Vegetable at Home is a not only for homesteaders, survivalist and people on a budget should be doing this too. I have been canning for years, I love doing it. It’s never …
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Homesteading Leads to Preparedness Homesteading and preparedness are actually two peas in the same pod. Some would argue that survivalism is another pea in the pod of Self Sufficiency. They all basically seek the same end goal – self reliance and the ability to take care of themselves. It’s no real surprise then, when homesteaders …
15 Weird and Awesome Uses for Honey Ah, Honey… food for kings. I love honey and so have every nation, every era and every man and woman on earth since time began! Honey is mostly used to put on things like toast or cereal but did you know that Honey goes much deeper than a …
There was not a fully-stocked food store on every corner when our great-grandparents were alive, and most of them did not have access to anything resembling modern supermarkets.
Selection and availability were limited during days of old, and much of their food was either homegrown or locally sourced. Our ancestors probably had a few tricks up their sleeves when it came to keeping food at home, and might be able to offer some guidance to those of us who manage food today.
Here is some of the advice our great-grandparents might share with us today:
1. Storage does not improve food. If the quality is marginal when it goes into the freezer, the Mason jar, or the bulk storage container, then it will still be marginal—at best—when it comes out. It is a good idea to select the finest products for storing and preserving, and eat the blemished foods fresh.
2. The above tip notwithstanding, do not waste food. If it’s the best you have, or all you have, and you need or want some for later—then by all means store it! Food storage, like most things to do with homesteading, is all about doing the very best you can with what you have.
3. Store only what you will eat. It sounds simple, but it is all too easy to get lulled into preserving food just because you can, and without questioning whether or not you should. I got so carried away with canning one season that I put up foods my husband and I don’t even like. I gave a little away to friends and relatives, but it didn’t appeal to them, either. The steers got most of it and were appreciative, but it was an expensive and labor-intensive livestock feed that I will make sure never to repeat.
4. Go for the easiest way first. Choose the food storage method which requires the least effort, the least cost, the least equipment, and the least supplies. If storing dry beans in a glass jar works for you, do that instead of going to the trouble of using long-term storage buckets with the air removed. If root-cellaring works in your situation, do that instead of canning.
If freezing is easier for you than canning and you have what you need to do it, freeze on! You can always upgrade later—for example, if your root-cellared carrots or jars of homemade fruit leather start to look iffy, freeze them before you lose them.
5. Store enough to tide you over a shortage. Unexpected events happen, from tomato blight to drought to livestock loss. Commercial foods are sometimes suddenly and inexplicably unavailable, as well. For example, it was hard to find bottled lemon juice in any of the stores one summer season, leaving home food preservers scrambling to find it wherever they could. Since then, I have always made sure I tuck away a little extra of all my essentials in addition to what I need for the current season.
6. Do not get too hung up on fancy items. Sure, maple sweetened carrots and complicated chutneys are great for special occasions, but make sure you remember the basics. Most people won’t find a place on their table for fancy foods every day, but will need plenty of plain pumpkins and dry beans and their favorite varieties of rice. Balance the everyday foods with the special ones and you will hit it just about right.
7. Keep an eye on the environment around your food. Is it hot, cold, dry or humid? The conditions may have been right for your food when you placed it into storage, but can change with the seasons. Avoid frozen Mason jars and hard-caked sugar and moldy squash by regularly monitoring your food storage environment.
8. Guard against pests. Make no mistake—everything out there is looking for a free lunch! Mice, rats, chipmunks, squirrels, voles, rabbits, birds and foxes, along with all manner of beetles and bugs, will gladly avail themselves of your hard-won foodstores if given the opportunity. Do your best not to give them the chance. Use a combination of hardware cloth, plastic and metal containers with well-fitted lids, deterrent and diligence to keep them out of your food.
9. Rotate your stock. Be sure to use up the oldest first. This practice, along with buying and preserving only those foods which will get eaten in your home, will prevent foods from getting too old to be safe or palatable.
10. Keep organized. Loss and frustration can occur from being unable to locate or access items. A scattered messy pantry might look unappealing, too, resulting in less efficient use of stored food.
Follow this time-tested food storage advice, and enjoy the successful bounty of growing and preserving your own food, stocking up at the store, and managing it all at home.
What food storage advice would you add? Share it in the section below:
1000+ FREE Canning Recipes Are you just starting to can? Are you a seasoned canner? We all could do with more canning recipes, the site I came across has over 1000 recipes for you to browse and download for free. There are recipes for sauces, jellies, healthy food and even puddings. Canning food is not …