You know the feeling, and it's a bad one. Suddenly everything in the house goes silent and dark. Power's out. You run outside to see if it's just you, and check your breaker box. Meanwhile you're wondering: How long is it going to be out? A few minutes is one thing. A few hours, even. But if you're without electric for days on end — or longer — the throwback appeal of reading by candlelight quickly loses its charm.
I have been storing firewood. I also have two camp stoves, a single burner and a double burner. When things first fall out, my intention is to use the wood in one or more rocket stoves to heat water. Hot water will be a necessity for sanitation, utensil washing and general hygiene. The camp stoves will be used for cooking. That will continue until the fuel is exhausted. By that time I hope to have gained enough experience that I will be able to modulate the wood burning rockets stoves so that cooking on them will not be that much of a problem. I also plan to use wood burning to distill water as I anticipate that we will need to use ocean water for our water supply unless we just happen to have a wet year such as we are experiencing this year. If it were last year, we definitely would be distilling ocean water. Ocean water doesn’t have to be distilled for washing utensils, hands and clothing. It must be boiled however because there will be all sorts of stuff floating in the ocean that you wouldn’t want to touch let along wash with. Drinking water and water for face washing and teeth brushing will have to be distilled as one cannot drink salt water. I would recommend dehydrated foods for getting used to outdoor cooking, but for long term food you are going to need beans and rice. You can store a lot of calories in a small space for a long time with those two items. Beans and rice together release the protein in the beans to supplement the meat you eat. I always wondered why Mexican food featured beans and rice at the same meal. I thought it was overkill on carbs. Then I found out that the rice released the protein in the beans which otherwise was locked and unavailable.
Remember when I wrote about wheat in Why You Should Store Wheat for Survival? For heaven’s sake, do not purchase wheat if you do not know how to use it. Of course, it would not hurt to learn about wheat. Freshly ground, it makes a heavenly loaf of bread the only problem being that it is so good you may eat too much and gain 50 pounds which would be another problem entirely.
Still, as I sat at my desk one afternoon, eyeing the colorful salads my coworkers were having for lunch, I realized the absurdity of my experiment: I live in a city with 24/7 access to fresh food and work a job that affords me the privilege of eating healthfully most of the time. Even quibbling over the nutritional content of these freeze-dried meals was something of a luxury, because I wasn’t in a position where I actually needed to eat them. Then again, you never know what’s going to happen.
This past September, Wise Company’s products proved lifesaving in a very urgent sense: Strapped for rations following the double whammy of Harvey in Texas and Irma in South Florida, FEMA placed an order for 2 million servings of food to relieve Maria’s victims in Puerto Rico. On a typical day, though, its selection of 72-hour, one-week, and one-month survival kits, packaged in boxes that can easily fit under a bed, seems more geared toward everyday Americans looking to prepare for the unknown.