So, here is my list of indispensable foods to store in quantity for hard times. I have tried to take into account caloric as well as nutritional content, ease of storage, shelf life, and the intangible of enjoyable to eat. Let’s face it, it doesn’t have to taste good to keep you alive, but it does to keep you happy! Never underestimate the power of a good tasty meal to make things seem better, and never underestimate the power of a positive outlook to help survive in hard conditions!
Only a small percentage of those with high blood pressure are salt sensitive and need to limit their intake. For those without high blood pressure or without that sensitivity, salt is not an issue. This is one of those media maintained myths, such as “eating eggs causes clogged arteries” and “low calorie low protein high sugar diet is great for you”.
Peanut oil AND peanuts go rancid fairly quickly. I found out the hard way one year trying to store it in bulk. I had to throw all I stored (in white buckets with oxygen absorbers) out. The only way I found it keeps is if I buy peanut butter in jars – and then the shelf life is still limited. Even among freeze dried companies they recommend using up the PB powder within five years while everything else is rated at 20. If you want an oil with a proven shelf life get either coconut oil or olive oil. All the rest will go bad and ultimately make you sick.
I personally like 5 gallon buckets with the gamma lids, so that I can access and rotate my food. I built shelves for food storage but I do have some of big Home Depot style orange shelves and they would work well. I also have some mix of number 10 cans but i like them less because they seem so bulky. For things that i rotate through slower input a Mylar bag in the bucket to keep thing fresh. I live in Utah and we have an industrial container store that sells buckets and lids for a great price, a lot less than the e-prep stores.
Mountain House, Wise Food, My Patriot Supply, and Ready Store need to get better in this regard. In some cases, we had to call a company and dig deeper than reasonable in order to find out calorie content — or we had to look at individual nutritional labels to reverse engineer the math. In other cases they called something a “1-month bucket” but that was based on silly calorie numbers.
Interesting article but do not Prep because of fear. Prep because things happen and you need to protect yourself from disruption. For example, the food supply chain is getting tighter, there used to be 3 days worth of food in grocery stores but now major grocery chains like Whole Foods no longer have stock in the back of the store (inventory is delivered straight to the shelves). With less than one days worth of food in grocery stores, you must already have food storage or go hungry. So, be prepared instead of fearing disruption.
Some evangelical Christians hold to an interpretation of Bible prophecy known as the post-tribulation rapture, in which the world will have to go through a seven-year period of war and global dictatorship known as the "Great Tribulation". Jim McKeever helped popularize survival preparations among this branch of evangelical Christians with his 1978 book Christians Will Go Through the Tribulation, and How To Prepare For It.
Shelter: You can make basic shelters with cordage and a tarp. Tarps are very useful in a range of situations. Try this Ozark Trail 8’x10’ camo and green tarp. We need to do more research before determining whether hammocks or tents are better for most people, so sign up for our email newsletter to stay updated if you’re interested in a more dedicated BOB shelter. In the meantime, we love these Kammock Roo hammocks that are about the size of a melon.
Buckets are great, but rats can chew through them. Store them where you think you can protect them from rodents. Also, plastic is somewhat air permeable, so mylar bag inserts are a really good idea. For basics, the LDS site is the best. You can get flour, wheat, beans, rice, sugar and some pasta already processed in #10 cans and boxed by the 6 can case. All my beds are on these case lot boxes so they take up zero extra room in my house. The prices are extremely reasonable since the church only covers its cost. I wouldn’t store anything in garbage cans just because the sheer weight of the thing will be prohibitive…unless you have a forklift lying around!
The largest doomsday bunkers in the United States are not only for civilians. In 1992, a Washington Post writer by the name of Ted Gup exposed the hidden bunker at Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia. For decades the retreat of government and Presidents, the resort has a massive bunker located below the West Virginia wing complete with an auditorium large enough for the House of Representatives and a separate space for the Senate Chamber. Holding a television studio, hospital and living quarters for all members of Congress in the event of a nuclear war. Tours are now available of the bunker to visitors of the resort.
A thought on food. We are moving to our long term chunk of land soon. Bunker or similar is long term plan down the road. Meantime as part of us being more self sufficient we have been exploring and getting into Aquaponics. This would require electricity and the right lighting for interior food growth. it would also be something you would want setup before hand. That said, this is a great way to produce long term self sustaining food sources. i would certainly still include the norms for support and back up food. My initial thought process is hiding my entrance within a small aquaponics greenhouse. This allows me to do it within my bunker without suspicion from daily entry. There are also a number of new technological ways to automate and monitor you systems remotely.
A popular way of guarding against this kind of catastrophe is storing food at home. This is called Long Term Food Storage, Emergency Essentials, or Emergency Survival Foods and there are dozens of companies selling food specifically for this purpose. The best, including those listed below, have great tasting products with a long storage life at a reasonable cost.
I do think there is a near universal “beginner’s checklist”. Regardless of where you live or what disasters tend to occur in your area (hurricanes, earthquakes, volcano eruptions), people still need the same basic supplies–water, food, medical, solid footwear and clothing. If you live in a tropical or subtropic climate like I do, your water needs will be greater than if you live in a cooler climate. I actually recommend the Texas Baptist’s Men’s water filtration system–cf. https://tbmtx.org/. You can pick up a system similar to the Big Berkey for a fraction of the cost. In terms of food, I think the author’s recommendation–that you just buy more of what you ordinarily use–is sound advise. Remember to rotate your food supplies–first in, first out. If you get a few extra cans each week, you can quickly build a three month supply of foods that your family regularly consumes. Once you get to a three-month food supply, it’s time to look into longer term food storage. I think the LDS Online Store is a great value. I think there are certain items every household should have–flashlights, extra batters, a cooler, extra ice in the freezer (I live in hurricane country), at least a shotgun and a handgun, extra ammo, a decent medical kit and so forth.
Yup, you’re right about the dehydrated food having around half the daily recommended calorie count for adults – but I still feel they’re valuable if you can afford it. A food stockpile that big will a least help you get by for the year, regardless of whether you’ll be thriving. And it’s easier (in my opinion) to supplement a stockpile than to depend on growing, hunting, trapping, or fishing everything yourself, especially if you’re not used to doing it.
Great article. Very informative and insightful. I also think learning how to store the right food most especially for leaner times is very important. For me canning is the best way to store food. But make sure that you can your food the right way. It is also a proven fact that canning as a way of storing and preserving different kinds of foods has been done since the 1800’s.
Hi, GNP. While, as a fellow Canuck, I applaud your noble sentiments I fear that in a true extended grid-down situation your idealism could be viewed as naivete and could get you and your neighbours killed or worse. And I am not criticizing or judging you but I don’t think most of us can imagine how bad it might get if a true SHTF situation arises. If you live a bit out of the bigger cities, once the looters are finished with them they will turn their eyes to the agricultural hinterland surrounding the cities. They will have no choice unless they all become cannibals. Once the food is completely gone from the major centres the mass of the population will spread like locusts across the land raping and pillaging and stealing whatever they can to survive. They will band together in gangs to survive and that will be very difficult to defend against. In any siege situation the advantage is always with the aggressor. They will wear you down bit by bit over time. I have to laugh at the notion of all the very rich secreting themselves in their hidden bunkers to wait out the end of the hostilities. What is there going to be for them to come back to? And if the attackers are determined enough their bunkers are going to be peeled back like so many sardine cans and the insides scooped out for good eatin’. LOL! If we’re talking bible stuff somewhere in there it says something like that no one can hide in caves or things like that if the worst comes to pass. I can see your idea working if you get together with ALL your neighbours before our worst nightmares come to pass and getting EVERYONE in your neighbourhood to start prepping now if they already haven’t done so. And you all have to be of like mind with a self-sufficient survivalist mindset. Everyone needs to have some farming or hunting skills and EVERYONE needs to be armed. AS long as they ALL understand it’s for the common good. Everyone has to bring their own particular skillset to the table and be prepared to work very hard to supplement the dwindling original food supply without the weekly virgin sacrifice. LOL! But that is also fraught with danger if there are laggards that refuse to prep and then they of course know who has supplies stashed away. There is no easy answer. Again, I’m not criticizing. You have to do what you think is right. I’m just trying to open your eyes as to what the reality of the situation may become. As bad as most of us think that things can get I don’t think most of us realize that whatever we can imagine the reality would be a 100 times worse. Under the right circumstances people can succumb to true evil and unfortunately too many people have watched shows like “The Walking Dead” giving them many “good” ideas as to what to do to survive. Unless you have a warehouse full of food and water stashed away you have no chance of even saving a small percentage of your neighbours. And once the easy food and water is gone there is a very good chance of them turning on you. As horrible as it sounds, once the food is gone, then starving people need to be treated like rabid dogs or they WILL pull YOU under and then all your effort is for naught. The only real solution I see is to try and move to a small community where the people are already used to being self-sufficient and settling there until some kind of order is restored. I live on a small crescent in what is still a fairly small town and my neighbours are the best. At the moment! LOL! It’s like a small community within a community. Maybe 200 houses. You do the math as to how many people. I have no hope in hell trying to save as many people as I can with the meager supplies I have managed to put away. As far as I can tell no one here is prepping or has fruit trees in their back yards or any thoughts for the future. And of course no one here knows what I’m doing. As far as they’re concerned I’m a poor, dumb, harmless old man. That suits me fine. I’ll leave you with one last story and it surprised the heck out of me. Came across a video on YouTube and there were three young men. Maybe mid 20’s. Not in any particular good or bad shape. Summertime. They wanted to see how far they could walk in 24 hours starting from the very bottom of Yonge street right by the lake. In 24 hours those sons of a bitches made it all the way up to Barrie. Didn’t think it could be done that quickly. The point being that once the people in the major centres like Toronto run out of food they will start to head north. And we’re talking millions of people. Once that happens the people north of the major centres will be in deep, deep shit. Hope we all have a lot of a ammo. I know that I’m going to get blasted for these comments but that can’t be helped. And I’m also sorry that I think so little of human nature but in a true disaster scenario events will play out quite differently as compared to the many sanitized versions that Hollywood loves to portray. As I say there is no easy answer or no easy solution and when the time comes many very difficult decisions will HAVE to made. OldNamVet has seen the reality of combat and what he proposes makes much more sense to me. Show whatever compassion you can to those refugees that come to your door but then very politely but firmly send them on their way and make sure that they understand this is a one time deal. When the time comes we will all be forced to become hard as diamonds while still retaining some semblance of our humanity. To be forewarned is to be forearmed.
That is a great idea Scott! When I started writing this article it was my intent to get people thinking about how to cook in an emergency or SHTF situation. While a lot of the readers of Backdoor Survival are experienced at cooking, there are also a lot of folks out there that are just learning how to cook. I am 34 and I have to say that a lot of people my age don’t cook but they are learning. I always have cooked. Mom headed out the door when I was 4 so it was me and my Dad who cooked for me a lot of the time but I had to do some too. Donating food is a great thing to do if you are not able to use what you have stockpiled and it is set to expire. Thanks for a great suggestion as we enter the holiday season!
Call ahead to the meat dept.of your store and ask them if they can hold suet or fat for you, what days they ate most likely to have it in inventory, and whether or not it has to be special ordered in the quantity you need. You can also ask for meat trimmings as that is the extra fat that gets cut off the cuts being packaged for the sales floor. There’s often a lot of meat attached to these, and you can get them cheap.
Survivalists' concerns and preparations have changed over the years. During the 1970s, fears were economic collapse, hyperinflation, and famine. Preparations included food storage and survival retreats in the country which could be farmed. Some survivalists stockpiled precious metals and barterable goods (such as common-caliber ammunition) because they assumed that paper currency would become worthless. During the early 1980s, nuclear war became a common fear, and some survivalists constructed fallout shelters.
Freeze-dried food is nothing new. As early as the 13th century, the ancient Quechua and Aymara people of Bolivia and Peru pioneered a form of the process by exposing potatoes to the freezing temperatures of the Andes overnight, then drying them in the sun. In 1937, Nestlé used industrial technology to create the world’s first freeze-dried coffee, and in the 60s and 70s, the US military shipped freeze-dried food rations to the troops in Vietnam.