Of all the tools you can use to cook food off the grid, the best one (in my opinion) is the Dutch oven. Every prepper who is concerned about long-term power outages should get a Dutch oven and learn how to use it. Why? Well for one thing, a good cast iron Dutch oven can […]
About 53 percent of Millennials say they eat at restaurants at least once a week, compared with 43 percent of Generation X or baby boomers, according to a 2015 survey of 3,000 adults by Morgan Stanley.
Americans in 2014 spent more money on food consumed in restaurants, school lunch programs and at sporting events than they did on food prepared and consumed at home, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service (ERS).
The money spent on food away from home was 50.1 percent of the 1.46 trillion spent on food, while 49.9 percent was spent on grocery store purchases. In 1960, just 26.3 percent of a family’s income was spent on food consumed away from home (Lamagna, 2016).
We have to assume that some of the foods purchased from grocery stores were meals ready to heat and eat. In other words, no cooking skill was required to put a meal on the table.
According to a survey conducted in 2016 by the Pew Research Center American adults, aged 18 to 34 were more likely to be living with their parents than with a spouse or significant other. Thus, there are more and more adult children still sitting around mom and dad’s dinner table who probably do not see a need to learn how to cook at this time in their life because mom or dad are still laboring over the stove for their children.
There has always been a debate about the cost of eating out versus buying and preparing food at home. Some, of course, claim it is less expensive to eat out than to buy the food, carry it home, and then spend time cooking and cleaning up. It depends on the food you order in a restaurant of course, and the food you buy for cooking at home. We will not get into that debate because it can be more or less expensive depending on your personal preferences.
This article is about cooking and how necessary it is to have the right skills when grocery stores are shuttered and restaurants are just a fond memory of days past. An extended crisis will force all families and individuals to prepare their own food and without the proper skills, you can cause sickness, or even death, not to mention causing a revolt among family members. A hot meal can be a lifesaver not only from a nutrition standpoint but from a psychological one as well.
You will have to know how to prepare food from its raw state. Food pre-cooked and packaged for your dining convenience will be a thing of the past. What will you do if you trade some children toys and clothes or medicine for fresh game or fish? What happens if your spouse or partner drags home a deer that needs to be processed within hours for a meal that night and then you have to preserve the rest for the days and weeks to follow?
Cooking is not just for the females in the family or group and hunting is not just for the males in the group. Everyone needs to know how to hunt for fresh game and then cook and preserve that same game, and children, as well as adults, are frankly never too young or old respectively to start learning.
You have to include safe food handling first and foremost. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, (CDC) roughly 1 in 6 or 48 million Americans get sick each year from consuming contaminated foods or beverages, and 128,000 require a hospital stay while 3,000 die from food-borne illnesses each year. Food safety is important, and it must be taught first before anything else (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2016).
It starts with teaching inexperienced and experienced cooks alike the need for proper hand washing and this is even more important during a crisis where professional medical care and medicines may not be available if someone does get sick from contaminated foods.
Raw meats must be processed in such a way that they do not contaminate foods like bread or raw fruits or vegetables and other foods that may not be typically cooked or not cooked at a high enough temperature to destroy bacteria or pathogens that may be present.
Clean work surfaces before and after handling raw meats using bleach and water. Raw vegetables and fruits must be scrubbed and then rinsed well with clean water to remove any contaminates from the surface even if the product has a skin that will not be eaten.
Bacteria on the skin or peel can reach the edible parts if you cut the food with a knife or handle the food after handling the skin or peel. The bacterium on the outside is carried inside by a knife blade or by your hands.
Oil and butter are staples for cooking food in frying pans and for baking as well as salt and pepper. Most foods benefit from spices applied during and after cooking to enhance the flavor.
Start with the basics, like butter and olive oil or other cooking oils, salt, pepper, garlic raw or powdered as well as basil, parsley, rosemary, dill, sage, and thyme. These, of course, are not the only herbs and spices available for cooking but they are a start.
Ideally, you would either have a small herb garden inside the home, on the deck or have a garden in the backyard. Fresh is always better, and fresh herbs do provide many necessary nutrients and some do have certain healing properties as well.
Gardening is part of the cooking process when food supply chains are disrupted. Many of the spices you buy dry from the store can be raised with very little space or effort right in your own kitchen or on the deck. Your backyard garden can also provide fresh vegetables for daily consumption as well as provide a surplus for canning, drying, and pickling.
Some foods, of course, fare better when baked, versus using a frying pan, but during a crisis, you may have only a few options or even one option and that may be an open flame. You need utensils and pots and pans that can literally take the heat of open flames and can cook or bake virtually anything.
A Dutch oven is ideal for all types of cooking and baking from inside an oven to pit cooking using charcoal or even when cooking over an open flame. You can deep fry in a deep Dutch Oven, or fry a steak, boil potatoes, make biscuits, bread, desserts and even sauté or steam vegetables.
Know your cuts of meat so you know the best way to cook them. Tough cuts do better when cooked slowly and cuts like well-marbled steaks, for example, are best cooked fast over a hot flame.
Game meat like venison can have very little fat content and can be very tough if overcooked. Venison steaks can be cooked to medium or even medium rare for the best results. Pork, poultry and ground meats on in the other hand, must be thoroughly cooked to destroy any bacteria present.
Some meats and other foods will continue to cook after being removed from the heat, so study the chart provided below for cooking temperatures and resting times if applicable.
After you remove meat from a grill, oven, or other heat source, allow it to rest for the specified amount of time. During the rest time, its temperature remains constant or continues to rise, which destroys harmful germs.
Courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2016
Children can be taught the basics rather quickly. They need to learn how to cut up meats and vegetables safely, because just tossing meat on the flame or carrots in the pot doesn’t always add up to a good meal.
When cooking vegetables they should be relatively uniform in size so they cook consistently. Large chunks tossed in with small pieces will be raw while the smaller pieces over cooked. The small details like this are what separate an average cook from a good cook. Knowing the cooking temperatures, cooking times and knowing what spices enhance certain foods.
It takes some experimentation and the best time to practice with your children is now before something happens, and they literally need to know how to cook to save their lives.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2016). Retrieved 2017, from https://www.cdc.gov/foodborneburden/2011-foodborne-estimates.html
Lamagna, M. (2016). Retrieved 2017, from http://www.marketwatch.com/story/why-millennials-dont-know-how-to-cook-2016-08-10
The post Teaching Your Children How to Cook: It’s Important That They Know How appeared first on Preparing for shtf.
Here it is! The only guide to cooking without power you’ll ever need. In this mega-post we’ll cover: 12 Ways To Cook Without Power 9 Off The Grid Cooking Tips 17 Handy Tools For Cooking Without Power It’s funny how cooking without power is regarded as a survival skill when for thousands of years, it […]
Rabbit meat is usually overlooked as a protein source. It shouldn’t be. Here’s why rabbit should be on your menu.
by Leon Pantenburg
My brother, Mike Pantenburg, and I were looking for unique main dish for a Dutch oven cookoff. But this wasn’t just any cookoff – we had qualified for the International Dutch Oven World Championships in Sandy, Utah.
After a lot of consideration and discussion, we decided to go with rabbit. Mike tweaked the rabbit recipe in a couple other cookoffs, and we did well enough to qualify for the world championships.
To my surprise, rabbit was considered unique at the contest. The other teams used the standard beef, pork or chicken. We got a lot of attention from the spectators and TV crews, but we didn’t win. We did place in the top ten, after two days of intense competition.
(We realized we were out of our league as soon as we saw several Dutch oven catering companies in the competition. First prize was $5,000, but the bragging rights were more important to the pros. They had fancy food service quality equipment, and we had the coolers we took to elk camp!)
But back in the 1940s and 1950s rabbit meat was as common for dinner as chicken is today. My aunt Mildred raised a lot of rabbits, and my dad hunted rabbits and squirrels for the table during the Great Depression. It was the meat that got many people through the tough times.
You can generally substitute rabbit for chicken in just about any recipe. An older rabbit, like an older chicken, will probably be tougher than the younger ones.
Rabbits are the most harvested game animal in the United States and the most widely distributed prey animal in the world. Unregulated, rabbit populations can quickly overpopulate a habitat area and cause extensive damage. In Australia, rabbits were introduced, and quickly became overpopulated. Today, they are considered a vermin, and periodic eradication efforts have to be made.
Rabbit hunting is a good way to start out the youngsters. Bag limits are generous, and success is pretty much guaranteed.
As with any game meat, how it will taste depends on how the meat is handled after the animal is killed. I like to gut a rabbit or squirrel as soon as possible. I generally carry a pair of latex gloves, a culinary plastic bag, such as rice comes in, and a good small game knife.
Cleaning a rabbit is easy. You don’t need to “skin” it, since the hide generally just pulls off. You’ll use the knife to slit the belly and pull out the guts. I can skin and gut a rabbit in a couple minutes, and it is an easily-learned skill.
Ideally, I’ll be near a spring or creek so I can wash my hands afterward. Typically, I’m not, so I’ll take along several single pack hand wipes.
The faster the meat is cooled and washed, the better it will taste
So why eat rabbit meat now? Here are ten good reasons from Rise and Shine Rabbitry
At least during good weather, especially the summertime, cooking without electricity can be simple and easy while using a solar oven cooker. Over the years I have built several ‘homemade’ solar oven cookers and I have also purchased one (which I still have and still use). It seemed to be one of the better cookers […]
Survival food is sustenance that can be made easily during a survival or emergency situation with simple, long-term storage food items, cooked outdoors, using off-the-grid methods.
Southwest Chicken Corn Chowder
3 Tbs dehydrated onions
1/2 tsp garlic granules
1 small can diced green chilies (or 2 large, fresh roasted chilies of your choice)(or use dehydrated)
2 c freeze dried corn or dehydrated
I c dehydrated or freeze dried potato dices
5 c water
1 c white cream sauce (Pick your favorite white cream sauce recipe)
2 tsp oregano
1 tsp cumin (ground)
1 Tbs chicken soup base
1-1/2 c freeze dried chicken (or canned chicken)
Tortilla chips for garnish, if desired
In a small stockpot, add water and bring to a boil. Add potatoes, onions, garlic, green chilies, oregano, cumin and chicken soup base. Simmer until vegetables are tender. Now add the freeze dried corn, cook for another 5 minutes. In a separate bowl, mix together 1-1/2 c waster and cream soup base until smooth, slowly add the cream soup base to soup mix that has been simmering. Once this is incorporated, add the freeze dried tortilla chips and additional cheese if desired.
– from “Jan’s Fabulous Food Storage Recipes: Converting Stored Foods Into Usable Meals”
Survival food is sustenance that can be made easily during a survival or emergency situation with simple, long-term storage food items, cooked outdoors, using off-the-grid methods.
Country Hash Brown Breakfast
2 c potatoes, hash browns, dehydrated
3 Tbs onions, chopped, dehydrated
2 Tbs, mixed peppers, chopped, dehydrated
1 tsp sale
4 Tbs mushrooms, sliced, dehydrated
12 Tbs scrambled egg mix, mix with 12 Tbs water
1/2 c sausage, crumbles, freeze dried or canned, or use sausage TVP
1/2 c cheddar cheese, grated, or freeze dried mozzarella cheese, grated freeze dried
In medium pan, bring to a boil 6 cups of water, add potatoes, onion, mixed peppers and mushrooms, lower heat to medium, allow to cook until vegetables are tender, remove from heat and add sausage and let stand for five minutes to rehydrate. Drain well.
Ina medium bowl, mix scrambled egg mix with water until smooth, set aside. Over medium heat in a large skillet, add a tablespoon of oil, add drained vegetables, slowly add scrambled egg mix and start to scramble. Continue cooking until eggs are almost set.
Sprinkle with cheese and stir again lightly. Turn off heat and let eggs finish setting up and cheese melt. Serve with your favorite breakfast toast.
For variety, you can also serve this with tortillas as breakfast burritos, and serve with salsa.
– From “Jan’s Fabulous Food Storage Recipes: Converting Stored Foods into Usable Meals” by Jan LaBaron
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In an emergency, let’s hope you have food and know how to cook it. But what happens if you end up with a fire, some food staples, and a piece of aluminum foil – can you combine those to make a tasty meal?
By Leon Pantenburg
In a survival situation, food should taste good. When (fill in the acronym) happens, previously-fussy eaters will find that hunger is the best sauce. But the same diet everyday will soon grow monotonous. (Really, how many MREs can you eat before all the entrees taste the same?)
Most people will eat whatever is available because they are hungry. But what about the old folks, little kids and toddlers? Diet monotony, or bland, repetitive tastes can cause them to just quit eating.
Obviously, this is dangerous – without the food energy, their bodies can’t produce warmth, they will grow weaker and their mental outlook and the group morale will deteriorate.
So food preparation in survival situations is important, and tasty food can start with just a piece of aluminum foil. (I carry a big piece in most of my survival kits!)
As part of a survival scenario, consider where you might be when disaster strikes, and what your needs
might be. If I’m hunting, fishing, hiking or participating in some other vigorous activity, then food is fuel. At the end of the day, I want a lot to eat, fast, and taste is not so important. If convenience is the major consideration, I’ll eat whatever is available. Frequently, that might be something like jerky and hardtack.
But if I’m at a Central Oregon Dutch Oven Society outing, a group devoted to outdoor epicurean cuisine, then gourmet-style food prepared outside in a cast iron pot over coals is the reason for being there.
The lowly foil wrap can fit quite well into either category, and a well-prepared prepper or survivalist should know this
survival technique. A wrap is nothing more than food bound up in aluminum foil and cooked over campfire coals or on a grill over charcoal. The wrap can be the main course, a side dish or a dessert. Foil wrap food can be as simple as a foiled baking potato or ear of corn on the cob or as complicated as a delicate salmon fillet smothered with fresh herbs and vegetables.
At elk or deer hunting camp, we frequently prepare a simple foil wrap of sliced potatoes and onions seasoned with some garlic and gobbed with butter the night before. We hunt all the next day, and whoever gets to camp first starts the fire. By the time everyone gets back after dark, there is a nice bed of coals to use with the Dutch ovens and foil wraps.
The wrap is tossed on the coals, biscuits are popped out of the tube into a Dutch oven, and elk or deer backstrap is sliced, dredged in flour and fried. Total time for a great meal is about 30 minutes.
Foil wraps are simple and fun and are a great way to make lunch with your kids. A wrap can make a nice meal to take along on an outing or day hike. A foil wrap stored in a plastic bag can be perfect for a noon meal in the backcountry. And everyone can make their own, dictated by their own tastes.
As a cooking merit badge counselor for Boy Scout Troop 18, I frequently run across youngsters who, according to their parents, are very fussy eaters.
Wraps can change that. Let the youngster decide what ingredients go into a wrap for lunch or dinner, but make sure there are veggies, some soup for a broth and fish or meat. The novelty of building your very own fire, and cooking over it, plus the positive peer pressure of the other kids will overshadow previous food prejudices.
In wilderness cooking, every recipe should start with soap and water or hand sanitizer. Even though the cooking conditions may be primitive, sanitation shouldn’t be, and a case of dysentery or giardia can taint those otherwise great memories.
Food preparation with foil wraps is simplicity itself, and for short day trips, all the cutting and dicing can be done at home. For longer trips, some dishes can be pre-made, wrapped and frozen. Insulate the frozen food well, place it in the bottom of your pack, and it should thaw out in time to make a fresh, hearty meal for the second night out.
To wrap the food, place it in the center of a rectangular piece of heavy duty foil, then bring the long edges together on top. Fold the long edge over once, then continue roll-folding until it’s snug over the food. There should be several inches at each open end that are clear of food.
Then, roll the ends in tightly, compressing the food and making sure that each end has at least three complete rolls. This prevents juices from escaping during cooking and gives you something to hang on to when turning the packet.
Sometimes, depending on what’s cooking, you’ll want to double wrap the packet. To avoid any leakage while transporting, put the completed package in a plastic bag. Then, when you’re done eating, put all the leftovers and used foil in the bag and carry it out. (Sounds like a tasty MRE, right?)
Temperatures for foil wrap cooking are best learned through experience and will depend to a certain extent on what is in the wrap. But a good rule of thumb is that the coals should be hot enough that you can place your hand an inch above the grate for about five seconds, but no longer, without discomfort.
You may put the wrap directly in the coals of a campfire, but make sure the fire isn’t too hot. A good idea is to rake some coals away from the flames and place the wrap directly on them. Obviously, you’ll need to watch the wrap closely.
Food is a critical item among preppers, survivalists, outdoorspeople and anyone who needs energy. Storing and preserving food is a consideration for whatever disaster and/emergency might happen.
But regardless of what stockpiled food you may have or what you cook, a little planning, preparation and foil can make a great meal.
And that’s a wrap.
Try these recipes with your kids, or outdoors beginners to teach the foil wrap technique:
ENGLISH MUFFIN PIES
2 TSP butter or margarine
1 English muffin, split
12-inch square of foil
3 TBS canned pie filling, any flavor
Butter the outside of the muffin and place down on the shiny side of the foil. Top with pie filling. Butter the other muffin half and place on top of the fruit. Roll the foil over the muffin and make sure the ends are securely rolled.
Cook for about 15 minutes, moving the packet every few minutes. When done, the outside of the muffin should be browned. Be careful the filling will be extremely hot. Let cool before eating.
HERBED FISH AND CARROTS
18-inch square of foil
2 whole small carrots
1 TBS of margarine or butter
1/2 tsp of dried herb mix
1/4 tsp lemon pepper or garlic pepper
Fresh fish fillets, about four to five ounces
Lay foil shiny side down on flat surface. Peel carrots and slice 1/4-inch thick. Arrange down the center of the foil. Cut butter into pats and distribute over the carrots. Place fish on top of the carrots and sprinkle the herbs and lemon pepper over the fillet. Cut the remaining butter into pats and distribute over the fish.Fold the foil around the fish and place the packet fish side upon coals. Cook for about 15 minutes, then flip and cook another eight to 10 minutes.
To serve, carefully open the packet; serve directly from the foil or transfer all the contents to an individual plate.
<FOILED AGAIN HAMBURGER DINNER
18-by-24-inch piece of heavy duty foil
1 TBS of barbecue sauce
1/4 small onion
5 ounces of lean ground beef or venison
1/4 tsp seasoned salt or garlic salt
1/2 small baking potato
1 medium carrot, peeled and sliced into pennies
Fold the foil in half, shiny side in. Place the barbecue sauce in the center. Peel onion, slice and arrange over the sauce. Combine ground meat and seasoned salt, mix well and form into oblong patty, about 4-by-3-by-3/4 inches and place on top of the onions. Peel potato and carrot and slice both 1/8-inch thick. Top patty with potatoes and carrots. Fold foil over the ingredients and be sure to seal the ends very well.
Place packet on grill or coals, and turn and rotate every 10 minutes. Total cooking time should be about 35 minutes.
To check for doneness, open packet. Vegetables should be tender and meat should be medium-well.
TROOP 18 FOIL WRAP COBBLER
White or yellow cake mix
Pats of butter or margarine
This is a beginner recipe that is very popular with kids or first-time campers and adapts the time-honored dump cake to foil.
Place several tablespoons of pie filling on the foil, then top with cake mix and pats of butter. Fold the ingredients into the foil and place on the grill. Cook about 10 to 12 minutes on one side, then flip and cook another 5 to 10 minutes.
15 Kitchen Gadgets That Work Without Power Meals aren’t much of a problem during short power outages. There’s canned food, dehydrated food, MRE’s, etc. All you need is a way to boil water and you’re set. But what if it’s a long power outage? Not just a few days, but a few weeks or longer? …
Are you using the storage foods in your pantry? One piece of preparedness advice is that mossy old saying: “Store what you eat, and eat what you store.”
by Leon Pantenburg
This philosophy makes sense, since your stored food is an investment. No matter what the expiration date may be, it’s always a good idea to rotate the stock.
Another thought is to make full use of those stores. Rather than spending upward of a dollar or so for a commercial energy bar, try making your own.
And if you can find a recipe that uses your stored food, that’s a bonus. Not only can you experiment and tweak the recipes, but you can also find a flavor combination that is just what you’re looking for.
If you can bake cookies, you can make your own energy bars, and here is a recipe that uses stored food you’ll like!
Apricot Bar Recipe
Chop in a food processor:
- 1 cup dried apricots
- 3/4 cup almonds
- 3/4 cup walnuts
- Mix fruit and nuts with:
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/2 cup wheat germ
- 2/3 cup flour
- 2 tablespoons oil
Add: Enough liquid (2 to 4 tablespoons juice) to form a thick batter.
Mix well. Press into an 8-by-8-inch square greased pan. Bake 30 minutes or until firm at 350 degrees. Cut into 12 bars but leave in the pan to cool. Later, package individually and store in a refrigerator or freezer. Makes 12 bars with about 220 calories per bar.
For more recipes using natural foods, click here.
When you find yourself living out of a rucksack,( Bug Out Bag) either camping, or bugging out in SHTF, you carefully watch the size and weight of anything you carry. Having the ability to boil water, make a hot drink, warm up or cook the food you have with you or to cook food you find along the way can be an important consideration.
There are a number of options in selecting lightweight stoves and cooking gear. Stoves generally fall into three categories of fuel types: Those that burn bio mass fuel (sticks, straw etc.) those that burn alcohol or other liquid fuel, and those that burn chemical fuel tabs. In deciding which one, or which combination of cooking stoves and accessories you need to consider weight limitations, how long you plan on having to use it, fuel supply and weight, and the availability of replacement fuel.
Solid Fuel Tab Stoves
One of the most basic of stoves is the field expedient tin can stove like the one pictured. This is the type of stove I used exclusively in the jungle in Vietnam. Take an empty can, your P-38 can opener and cut ventilation holes in it. Using solid fuel tabs you can boil water in a canteen cup, or heat up cans of food. ( when out of fuel tabs, we would use a round marble size piece of C-4 explosive. It would bring a canteen cup full of water to a boil quickly. Don’t do this at home kids!).
Another excellent lightweight stove for use with solid fuel tabs is the Esbit. This style of stove has been made by Esbit for many years. It was standard issue to German soldiers in WW2 and has been a mainstay for soldiers and campers for many years, and is still manufactured by the same company in Germany. The solid fuel tabs can be stored inside the stove when folded, and are lightweight so you can easily carry sufficient fuel tabs for a 72hr. bug out plan. I have used one for years and it rides comfortably in my bug out bag.
Esbit also makes a variety of solid fuel stoves including a lightweight titanium folding solid fuel stove in addition to their traditional model. Their solid fuel stove cook set is also a popular item. Kit includes 585-milliliter pot, lid, and wind deflector/pot stand, and stores in included mesh bag. Pot includes volume indicators in both liters and ounces, and has two hinged stainless steel grips that fold flat against body of the pot. The whole kit weighs 7 ounces.
Pros of solid fuel stoves= Lightweight, both stove and fuel. Solid fuel is easy to light
Cons of solid fuel stoves= Limited capacity. You won’t cook a three coarse meal on one. At some point, you will run out of fuel tabs.
Alcohol Fuel Stoves
Again, Esbit makes a really good alcohol burner stove. Great little stove, but you need to have something to place your food or cup on for heating. Or you can buy it as a cook set like the solid fuel stove listed above.The pot stand and burner nest inside the pot for storage. A mesh storage bag is also included. Packed, the entire kit is only 5 Inch tall x 4.75 Inch across. With the pot on the stand, the height is 8 Inch. Weighs only 10.9 ounces (310 g).
Trangia from Sweden make a line of small alcohol stoves, some of which are used by NATO. The Trangia 28-T Mini Trangia is a popular little alcohol stove that weighs in at 0.78 pounds
Pros of alcohol stoves: They are efficient cookers and will use a variety of alcohol types.
Cons of alcohol cookers= They are fuel dependent and alcohol weighs more than solid fuel tabs.
Bio Mass Fuel Stoves
There are a number of great designed back packable stoves that will burn available wood and other combustibles. Sometime refered to “Rocket stoves”
The Solo Stove is an extremely popular stove. It incorporates a secondary combustion for a more efficient and cleaner burn. Boiling: 8-10 minutes to boil 34 fl oz of water; Fuel: Burns sticks, pine cones and other biomass; Packed size: Height 3.8 inches, Width 4.25 inches; Assembled size: Height 5.7 inches, Width 4.25 inches; Weight: 9 oz; Materials: Hardened 304 stainless steel, nichrome wire. It is designed to work with twigs and other small combustibles you find out doors. The company makes a number of accessories such as a wind screen and pots. This particular stove has received a lot of testing and reviews and is a popular item in the prepper community.
The Kelly Kettle is also a very popular stove for preppers. Also designed to use small twigs and other combustible, it holds 44 fl. oz. of water (5.5 Cups). Ideal; for hot drinks and heating water for freeze-dried meals. The Kelly Kettle Aluminum Scout is 12.25 inches tall, weighs only 1.8 pounds – Comes in a handy carrying bag.
Pros of bio-mass fuel stoves= You don’t have to carry fuel with you and it uses fuel that is readily available.
Cons of bio-mass fuel stoves= You have to have a source of dry fuel. In extremely wet weather that coud be problematic.
Having a good stove to cook food and boil water is essential. There are some useful accessories to go along with your stove you might want to consider. The G.I. canteen cup is probably one of the best items of equipment Uncle Sam ever threw out there. You can cook in it, make your coffee in it, shave in it, wash with it. (I have done all of those). Truly a multi task item. Make sure you get an original G.I. cup. There are a lot of cheap knock offs out there. These cups are not all the same size. Eating with you finger may make you feel macho, but it is also a good way to make yourself sick. A good Titanium spork with a carabiner that can also open bottles may come in handy. For those who don’t like sporks, Mil-Tec makes a Knife Fork and Spoon set that is traditional German military.
The above are just a small sample of lightweight and portable cooking solutions for bugging out on foot and living out of your bug out bag. In regards to stoves, my solution is to have a small solid fuel stove such as the Esbit coupled with a bio-mass stove such as the Solo Stove. These should cover your bases regardless of the weather or conditions you are in.
As always, decide what you actually need, do your research, and then buy the best quality you can afford.
Almost every major disaster results in thousands of homeless people. Their homes get flooded or destroyed, or their neighborhood is evacuated. In situations like this, churches and emergency shelters are often filled to capacity. And even if they aren’t, they can be unsafe (think of the Superdome after […]
It may be getting cold out, but there’s still time to do some camping before winter sets in. If you like to cook in the great outdoors, then I have the ultimate resource for you: A FREE recipe book with over 500 recipes you can make over a campfire! Stop […]
It is springtime, and everyone, prepper or not, is beginning to consider planting and growing a garden. For those that want to successfully feed their family, but are not necessarily the most seasoned gardeners, there are several fruits and vegetables that are easy to maintain and therefore will help ensure your success in producing food crops. These crops can often be canned and stored as well as eaten fresh and enjoyed by you and your family. In addition, the knowledge of being able to grow your own food is invaluable in a post-SHTF scenario. I find that as a Mom myself it is so important to have healthy food for my family, but just because I feed my family vegetables, it doesn’t mean I know how to grow them. However there is no reason for me, or anyone, to feel overwhelmed; these 10 food crops are a cinch to grow and great place for any new gardener to start.
Early (Cool) Season Vegetables
Early season vegetables can be planted in the cool spring. They don’t usually fair that well in the hot summer.
Radishes are quick growing. They sprout easily and produce a harvestable vegetable in just about 4 weeks. You should plant radishes in a staggered cycle, about every two weeks from early spring to just before summer in order to obtain a continuous harvest. Remember that radish leaves are edible too.
Arugula and other lettuce greens –
Lettuce and arugula do not store well, but they are easy growing plants that can easily be planted and maintained in any scenario, especially if you are growing after a disaster. They grow well in pots, making them a natural for urban homesteaders.
Snow peas/Sugar snap pea-
Snow peas are slightly different from sugar snap peas, but both are easy to grow for beginners. Snow peas are usually flatter, and more tender; they grow on a vine and require support of a cage or trellis, but there are also bush varieties that do not require support. Sugar snap peas are the fatter variety, and they also grow on a vine requiring support. Either kind is a wonderful food packed with goodness that most everyone in the family loves to enjoy. They also freeze well for long term storage.
Green onions –
Green onions are another plant that is extremely easy to grow. They can be harvested and dried for long term storage as well as used fresh. They provide a powerful pack of flavor that would be highly sought after in a survival situation. You can plant seeds, but you can also replant roots that you trim off the green onions you bought at the store. As they grow you can harvest the green stems as needed and then they will grow again.
Late (Warm) Season Vegetables
Warm season vegetables love the sun. There is no point in planting these early, no matter how nice the weather is looking and how excited you are to get planting. You’ll want to plant most of these in late spring, depending on your location, but for most of the US that means late April to early May.
Tomatoes are a given for any gardening beginner. They are so versatile, and can be canned, stored and prepared in a number of ways. You are able to can and store sauce, pastes, stewed tomatoes, or enjoy them fresh throughout the late summer season. Tomatoes can also flourish when grown in a big enough pot, making them effective for even small space gardeners.
Tomato plants come in two forms: determinate and indeterminate. Determinate plants stay compact—about three to four feet in height—and all the fruit ripens at roughly the same time. These are a good choice for urban homesteading when space is at a premium. Indeterminate varieties are more vining, and continue to grow and produce fruit until the fall sets in. They can grow quite large, especially with fertilizer, and need a tomato cage for support. If you are planning to start your own from seed, you might want to start them indoors in the early spring, or buy seedlings at the store if available.
Zucchini, as well as other summer squash, can produce a fair amount of crop for canning or for eating fresh. Most squash does take up a fair amount of garden space, making it less common in urban garden settings, however the patty pan summer squash is slightly more compact for urban and suburban gardeners. Zucchini should be harvested when they are about 6″ long, or in the case of patty pan varieties about 2-3″ across. Squash blossoms are also edible and popular in many cuisines.
Green Beans –
Green beans come in both bush and pole varieties. Once the plant start producing, you’ll want to harvest the green beans every few days for several weeks. Green beans can well for long term storage. There are also yellow and purple varieties that grow easily as well.
Bell peppers are the most popular variety, but they require a slight bit more attention than other pepper plants and can take much longer to reach maturity. Hotter pepper varieties, like jalapeno, and serranoes are easy to grow and produce a plentiful supply of peppers per plant. Like tomatoes, you will want to start your seeds inside to protect them from the early spring cold, or buy seedling plants from your local nursery.
Tomatillos grow huge and produce a significant amount of fruit making them ideal for preppers. Tomatillos are also called husk tomatoes, because the fruit grows with a protective husk around the outside making it very resilient and insect resistant. They grow similarly to a tomato plant and can benefit from a little support from a tomato cage. They also have plentiful seeds, meaning once they are introduces to your garden, it’s will easily re-seed and grow anew every year.
Cucumbers are one of the post popular pickling vegetables, but they are also wonderful fresh out of the garden. Cucumbers grow on a vine, and while you can let them climb a trellis or cage, they can grow on the ground successfully as well. Cucumbers produce for only a few weeks in a row, so you might consider planning in succession every couple of weeks if you want a long lasting harvest period.
Of course depending on where you live, a certain plant may be easier to grow than another, but for the most part in a standard American climate, you will find these plants will all grow without too much trouble or concern. When you are trying to start your own garden or homestead, it’s often overwhelming trying to decide how to get started, but with these 10 easy crops you can’t go wrong.
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