It’s mostly natural disasters we’re preparing for. I’m concerned about a war’s potential knock-on effects on the food chain, although I haven’t dug a bunker in my garden or anything. And then there’s Brexit. If that doesn’t go the right way, who’s to say we’ll be able to get hold of the things we can get hold of now? But, realistically, we are mostly likely to be affected by flooding or severe snow. There have been times when we have been cut off, unable to get out. We’d need to be prepared if that happens again.
I would contend that most (if not all) “long shelf life” dehydrated/freeze dried food products fail to deliver the calorie and protein count that is required to survive. It is far more likely that you would have to double the quantity and cost to actually achieve any specified duration. If you don’t believe me, just examine the details in their advertising.
Vivos, a company owned by Robert Vicino, a California entrepreneur, has the rights to lease 575 of these concrete bunkers in Igloo outside of Edgemont, S.D. People from across the country were in Igloo on Friday, May 19, 2017, looking at the bunkers as end of the world shelters.(Chris Huber /Rapid City Journal via AP) Chris Huber / Rapid City Journal

I can’t agree with your solution for water purification. If the argument is to “also” include scenarios where boiling isn’t practical, there are other options that fit the bill. For us, we’ve been using a Berkey filter system in our home instead of something that needs water pressure or power to serve in both bug out and Flint, MI like scenarios. We use it day to day today. Not cheap upfront but the cost per litre/gallon over time is a fraction of what you’ve proposed – with all due respect.
The MPS totes let in a little water when we submerged them. And the tote lid bent a little under the weight testing, but did not collapse or hurt the food. As expected, the cardboard boxes containing Mountain House foods got soggy immediately. But the packets of food themselves are waterproof. The boxes stacked well but didn’t offer nearly the same protection as the buckets.

I connected with Jennifer through Daisy Luther, the Virginia-based writer and survival preparedness expert behind the blog The Organic Prepper, which boasts more than 30,000 followers on Facebook and roughly 32,000 monthly visits on Pinterest. Jennifer says she learned a lot about prepping from the site and is a member of its affiliated private Facebook group, which Luther says is nearly 77 percent women. (Luther and other bloggers I spoke with for this story say that while they approach survivalism from a female perspective, they’ve encountered no small number of men who are interested in these practices as well.)
It helps. I’ve never had to panic-buy when snow’s been threatened and everybody else has raced to the supermarket. And I could cut back on the food shop when my husband was temporarily asked to work three days a week instead of five, reducing his pay. Perhaps it’s hereditary. My parents have a year’s worth of food in their store cupboard, including 50kg of wheat, which they can soak to make a vegetarian supplement or grind to make flour. My eldest daughter keeps a 72-hour bag in her car.
The reason the vacuum sealing system’s up on this list is because I feel food has a much longer “shelf life” so to speak when its vacuum sealed before being thrown in the freezer. Used to have a lot of power outages when we lived in Toronto, and each time our food would thaw out a little it’d taste worse and worse – except for the one vacuum sealed slab of meat we got from a neighbour which I think withstood 2-3 power outages (one which lasted 4-5 days) and tasted as though it was vacuum packed the day before. I’ve also heard of people vacuum packing rice into smaller one-serving portions, and have always thought that a great idea for cases you might want to throw a bunch into a pack and go, or just generally extend the shelf life of your food/prevent rats and mice from getting into things. Necessary? No. Definitely still something I want, though.
Dozens of earthquakes gave Hawaii residences a 48 hour warning before the volcano erupted. The average warning time for California wildfires victims was 20 minutes. Japan’s tsunami victims had a 15-minute warning. Being one of the first to know about oncoming dangers can provide you a head-start. Emergency alert systems are a great preparedness resource. There are several companies that provide emergency alerts services and many of them are free.  There are also a couple of different ways to receive alerts. Modern technology has given us many different methods to be notified of possible threats. Here are several options to consider.

A collection of thunderstorms over the Caribbean is likely to strengthen into a tropical storm that could strike the Gulf Coast next week  between Louisiana and the Florida Panhandle. The system, northeast of  Honduras, has a 70 percent chance of becoming Tropical Storm Michael in  the next five days, the National Hurricane Center said Friday. A strike  along the Gulf Coast could come as early as Tuesday. Oil rigs may be  evacuated, may be a good time to fuel up if you're in effected areas.

For survival purposes, think calories, not meals per day. An adult will require between 2,000 and 2,400 calories a day nominally, and more if they are active. Children require less, but the effects of malnutrition and starvation hit them harder. You can live for quite a while on reduced calories to make your stores go further, but your activity levels in the aftermath depending on what is required of you may dictate high calorie consumption. Plan accordingly before you hit “rationing” levels of supply.


The final piece of advice is to test-drive the foods you have chosen as your emergency food, especially if it isn’t your usual grub. You want to be sure everyone likes the foods you stock up and that they like all the regular food you have stored away. The next time you have a power outage at home, break out some freeze dried meals and see how they go down. This will also help you compare different brands and meal types.

He continues, "My entire world, from the surrounding arid hills to the uniforms and vehicles, was khaki brown or olive green - except for some strangers confined to a stockade on the edge of Igloo, who wore bright orange uniforms and spoke a strange language in rapid-fire fashion. They were Italian prisoners who had been shipped a long way from the front lines of southern Europe to sit out the war in South Dakota.”
Let’s face it, practical and usable space quickly becomes a valuable commodity when you are going to spend a significant amount of time in the shelter before venturing topside, and that environment should be comfortable, healthy and space efficient. You are going to be stressed enough if you are in there, and the last thing you need is the additional stress of a cramped, unfriendly environment.
I think in addition to dry beans, rice and such, that I would have some home canned versions of these in case water is at a premium. Beans, rice, quinoa, etc., require lots of water, and if it is in short supply you are going to be in trouble. Having HOME canned versions of these will mean that until water is more readily available, you can eat and have protein available to you. I’ve heard of others ‘canning’ water, too!
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”.
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.
I haven't used them yet since they are in my apocalypse bag (which more people should have and less people should make fun of because I mean seriously in what way is it dumb to be prepared, even if it becomes a hobby...an expensive hobby...a hobby that caused my wife and children to leave me because I woke them up constantly at 5:13am with homemade alarms to run threat drills in case bandits with grenades came or whatever) but yeah anyway I'm gonna be really glad they are there even if it's just for piece of mind!
I usually go into lists like this thinking “this person is going to prove how little they know”. But, you just proved how much you know. This list is spot-on, especially the parts about preparing both for and against human nature. IE: in a perfect “bad” situation you want to be that person that is prepared, and can help others learn how to survive by teaching them to hunt, farm, build shelter. But, in a realistic survival situation you need to protect yourself to ensure you’re not just prepping for the big dude down the street with a gun to come over and take advantage of you.
When you go back to the last depressing days when we were in a survival mode, the last one the Y2K of course, before the 1970s, what had happened was you only saw this one element of survivalist, you know, the caricature, the guy with the AK-47 heading to the hills with enough ammunition and pork and beans to ride out the storm. This is a very different one from that: you're seeing average people taking smart moves and moving in intelligent directions to prepare for the worst. (...) So survivalism in every way possible. Growing your own, self-sustaining, doing as much as you can to make it as best as you can on your own and it can happen in urban area, sub-urban area or the ex-urbans. And it also means becoming more and more tightly committed to your neighbors, your neighborhood, working together and understanding that we're all in this together and that when we help each other out that's going to be the best way forward.

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.

Salt, pepper, some chili powder, mustard, sugar, honey – the list is endless.  These items do not need to cost a lot nor do they need to take up an extraordinary amount of space.  When push comes to shove, however, your eating experience will be greatly enhanced by having a variety of flavor enhancers on hand to enliven the taste of your stored food stuffs.
Midway through December, while temperatures in the UK plummeted, heaps of snow drove transport services into a frenzy and schools into closure. Water supplies froze. Medical assistance slowed, threatening genuine peril. People began to store fuel. Across the Midlands, families were left without power – no electricity, no heat – in some instances overnight. For those of us safely tucked away indoors, or unaffected by the weather, the news could be shocking. It also brought to mind an unnerving question: would you be ready if calamity struck?
Each week as we scour the internet for interesting articles we come across so many the deserve a little more attention than they get. This week we found some articles about preparing for an economic collapse, the show Doomsday Preppers, Starting a fire in less than ideal situations, having the right mindset when you are preparing for SHTF, and one often overlooked aspect of prepping, where to go…and I don’t mean bugging out.
Legacy Foods 120 Serving Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner Bucket is a great option for vegetarians or people who want more of a bland foundation that you mix with other ingredients. For $299, one bucket covers two people for two weeks at 1,500 calories per day. Although other companies drop the calories to cut costs, Legacy assumed you would add more ingredients to their base, so we thought the relatively low calories per day was acceptable.

So a nuclear war would be bad, but how likely is it? Well, not as likely as it could be. This isn’t 1983; the Cold War is over. On the other hand, it could come back. Russia is smarting from the treatment we gave them during the Clinton era, and they’re steadily rebuilding their military. Russia’s nuclear forces are the most powerful on Earth, and President Putin probably has the starch to use them if he thinks it’s necessary. Putin is also pushing hard to rebuild Russia’s influence in eastern Europe, and there are several places where a small border skirmish could grow into a confrontation between Russian and NATO troops. If that happens, nuclear war is back on the table.
Thanks for another helpful article, Pat. I’d been wondering about long term food for my preps. I’ve never had MRE’s, although I have eaten “C” & “K” rations (remember those battleship gray-green cans?) an older relative brought home. My question is, how do I determine the best taste/value for my dollar? My goal of having 6 months to 1 year’s worth of food for a family will be significant in terms of money spent. Do you know of any “survival food” vendors who have trial offers for people to taste test BEFORE they plunk down 4 figures for boxes of… Read more »
The EMP/grid down threat has been our biggest concern and the primary focus of our preparedness plan. Learning to live without electricity, or at least practicing from time to time exposes the weaknesses in planning. We get our water from a well, so we plan to use an Emergency Well Tube (www.emergencywelltube.com) if we lose electrical service. We also have manual kitchen appliances and other hand tools to fill-in for the corded ones should the need arise.
According to developer Robert Vicino of Vivos “We are repurposing the bunkers into the largest survival community on Earth.  With one stroke, Vivos xPoint will accommodate as many as 5,000 people to ride out whatever natural or manmade events may come our way.  With each bunker providing shelter for up to 20 people, Vivos xPoint makes a life-assurance shelter solution affordable to virtually every family and group.  We have already received hundreds of requests from people wanting to claim their own bunker.  The project is now underway, and soon each bunker will be under construction to suit the fit and finish that each family/group requires.  We are even receiving requests to store precious metals and collections from elite buyers, now moving their treasures out of Europe, in anticipation of WW3 across the EU.  “xPoint” was coined as the: Point in time that only the prepared will survive.”
Oil of oregano. This is my favorite pick for a medicinal herb. This stuff has amazing immune system benefits and antibiotic properties. We use it constantly in my house to wipe out colds and flues, it does the job every time! Capsules are the most convenient form, although you can purchase the oil and add it to beverages (Don’t expect it to taste good!)
Not so sure I agree with some of this list. Sure, you need to clean water, shelf-stable foods and alternative ways to cook it, but not so sure I would recommend beginning preppers bother with a rifle or seeds quite yet. I would suggest they worry about items like a comprehensive first aid and hygiene/sanitation concerns first. You need to be able to get through a disaster before you should worry about a long term survival scenario.
Made in USA was a plus to us. Excited to have such a huge variety. Heirloom strains make me more confident that we'll be able to harvest what we plant. Pleases us to have such diversity. You can't beat 100% money back guarantee either. Chemical free is important, especially since our grandchildren will be eating our vegetables. We appreciate not only having the general name of vegetables listed, but the specific name as well. We have our garden in large containers, to make it easy for me to sit when I need to. Using these seeds will allow me to easily rotate crops to protect our soil. Couldn't be happier with the purchase. Instructions are inside the pack.
Do you think we can really stop the unstoppable? Our federal government is out of control and has been that way for years; under the control of an invisible hand of elitists.  As things stand in the US now, they see the writing on the wall for the coming election: They are ALL going be knocked out of power with a Trump win.  These people are so psychotic, they would rather adopt a "scorched earth" policy and wipe out everything rather than lose control of it all.
“Title-1 schools are on the free-breakfast and free-lunch program. When I say free breakfast, I’m not talking about a glass of milk and a roll. But a full breakfast and cereal bar with fruits and juices that would make the Marriott proud. The waste of this food is monumental, with trays and trays of it being dumped in the trash uneaten. (Our tax dollars at work!)
We are near an Air Force base with Sandia National Lab that is involved with nuclear defense. If an enemy targets that, we are likely dead from the initial exposure or the loss of shelter. The base is just south and next to the Albuquerque airport. East, 4.5 hours outside Amarillo is another facility. 3 hours North is Los Alamos. Its been nice knowing you.

We tried the $85 Instant Loaded Potato & Cheesy Broccoli Soup from Simpli Prepare because soup might be an easy way to supplement the main survival meals. Packaged the same way as the shakes, with shaker bottle and algae oil, and with the same directions. Vendor confirmed this is meant to be a “just add water” product, not a simmer and serve hot sort of thing, and suggests using hot water from the tap if possible.
People in the disaster preparedness community often say they are readying for the “shit hits the fan” moments: some future calamity, however plausible or implausible, when we are forced to fall back on our possessions and ingenuity. Doomsday Preppers, the long-running National Geographic show that popularized the term “prepper,” introduced mainstream America to a slew of quirky individuals — mostly men with a love of pricey gadgets and the Second Amendment — and the highly improbable doomsday scenarios for which they’d chosen to prepare.

Barbara – I know what you mean. It is easy to become both overwhelmed and disorganized at the same time. The nice thing about the list of 20 items is that you can purchase them all at once or one item a week. Then you can set them aside and at least for the short term, consider your food shopping done and move on to the gear or the next major task on your preparedness to-do list.
Bunkers are either 1,590 or 2,120 square feet, at a cost of $25,000 to lease for 99 years, plus $1,000 annually, and the cost is the same no matter how many residents wind up using the space. One reason the price is so low is because each space is a blank canvas: Each leaseholder is responsible for installing all services and amenities, including plumbing, electricity, air filtration, and exhaust.
Has anyone considered that with out fuel or just cooking over a fire, that cooking them things like dried beans (they take a couple of hours to cook on a stove), or rice ( 20 minutes). Unless you do a lot of cooking with un even fire, you will either burn the food or under cook it. Wouldn’t processed foods or dehydrated foods be better. Less cooking . When listing what to stock up on, don’t list dried beans and rice as a staple or you will have a lot of people having to eat raw rice and beans. Thanks for listening. Ioma
I think there are stages to prepping. The first stage is awareness. Maybe you experience a major hurricane and have to drive around town freaking out because you don’t have enough bottled water. You think, “Never again.” So you purchase realistic items for your area. The second stage is when you come to realize how much stuff you will actually need and you go out and purchase those items. The third stage is when you realize that no matter how much stuff you have stocked up, it will eventually run out in a grid down situation. That leads to the fourth stage–skills. Do you know how to garden when your life and the lives of your family depend on it? Do you know how to trap and hunt? Can you tell the difference between edible plants and poisonous plants? Do you have a trade like carpentry, plumbing, engineering, canning, bushcraft, herbal medicine? The sixth and final stage (and I am just making this up off the top of my head) is when you realize that no matter how many skills you have, you can’t make it alone. You begin to look for a community.
This is an obvious one, but if you don’t already have it – or any other lists for that matter – it’s a good list to start with. Having a list of items you’ve got stockpiled helps you to know exactly what you’ve got and what you’re missing, which will help you to remember to buy more of what you need and to refrain from stocking up on more items you’ve already got enough of.

It helps. I’ve never had to panic-buy when snow’s been threatened and everybody else has raced to the supermarket. And I could cut back on the food shop when my husband was temporarily asked to work three days a week instead of five, reducing his pay. Perhaps it’s hereditary. My parents have a year’s worth of food in their store cupboard, including 50kg of wheat, which they can soak to make a vegetarian supplement or grind to make flour. My eldest daughter keeps a 72-hour bag in her car.


If the men on the blog Doomsday Preppers seem inordinately preoccupied with some distant future in which everything falls apart, he explains, it’s because that imagined scenario represents a moment when they get to feel like they’re actually useful. “I’ve got a chainsaw and a pickup truck and a little cabin in the woods and I can get my assault weapon out and I can be important,” he explains of the mindset. “I’m not really useful until something goes wrong.”

@ Oldnamvet I can only imagine the horrors you encountered in Vietnam. You had great courage to go over there and fight for your country. Now. To the present day. I don’t want to be a nitpicker, sir, but the US is a Federal Presidential Constitutional Republic. These days more akin to a dog and pony show with Trump as the handler and maybe even more like one of the reality shows that Trump is so fond of. But that’s my personal opinion. I’m not quite sure what the difference would be between a limited and unlimited Constitutional Republic. And I’m not asking these questions to be a jerk but to learn. By definition Canada is a Federal Parliamentary Constitutional Monarchy and as we don’t have a Queen on our soil (unless you count Trudeau as a “queen”…LOL!) our head of state is Queen Elizabeth II. We are still tied to Britain even unto this day still being part of the British Commonwealth of Nations. This all a side issue anyways as to the main theme of this article. I just like to make sure we’re all on the same page.


Don’t let prepping overwhelm you because there are many companies wanting you to buy their product. And I agree with pat Henry, things are not as bad as what many think. I have been listening to doomsday talkers since 2011 about the imminent collapse around the corner and there will always be people saying this. So don’t rush to spend thousands of dollars. Do a little at a time and stay within your means. This is a good article because it gives you general categories such as a means to purify water, then food, then medicine, then security and also… Read more »

Even though I have a good start on my food pantry, it is always a good idea to look at others ideas. I had not thought of bulk pancake mix. I am a single person and got a great deal on Bisquick shake and pour ($1.00 each) I bought 2 dozen! I don’t really care for pancakes on a regular basis but once in a while… That all being said, I did purchase a vacuum sealer and have made good use of it. I also have a large dehydrator and visit the farmers market often for goodies to dehydrate and seal. When I have purchased these 20 items, I am then on to other needs such as shelter, etc. I have a lot of camping gear but not a good tent if I should have to vacate. Thank you Gaye – keep up the good work.

Add any extras for your situation: For example, here’s our guide on prepping with food allergies and how to store EpiPens without power. Also consider special needs for pregnant women, small children, pets, people with disabilities or significant medical issues, etc. If you have poor eyesight, always have a pair of backup glasses and contacts in your emergency supplies.
Sticking around when there is at least a 50% chance of a disaster occurring (hurricane, flood, landslides, tsunami, wildfire) is just plain silly.  Part of your planning should be to determine the trigger point for evacuation as well as identification of an evacuation site and a route to get there.  Better yet, plan multiple alternate routes as well.

This is behaviour that can sound extreme, but often it’s forged in reaction to events that could affect any one of us. Some preppers are concerned by natural disasters. Others worry about terrorism, or our financial system, or the repercussions of Brexit, whatever they may be. Survivalism has had a dedicated following in America since the 1970s, swelling during the run-up to the millennium in the 90s and peaking again after 9/11. Trump’s posturing hasn’t helped – the threat of nuclear war can send even the most rational thinkers running to the tinned-food aisle.
“Everybody thinks about prepping as this big doomsday thing, like when the zombie apocalypse happens,” Luther says. “But really it’s a lot more likely that someone’s going to lose their job or that you’re going to have a major expense you weren’t expecting, like your car breaks down or a medical expense. So if you think of prepping as something to get you through those situations, it’s really almost like an insurance policy.”

I know that in my own case and also with the majority of the readers on Backdoor Survival, hunkering down and bugging in will always be preferred to taking off into the unknown with our stuff.  For many, the choice to bug in has to do with family, health concerns or financial considerations.  That, plus the availability of stored supplies makes bugging in – or staying at home – the choice when a disaster strikes.

For those who want bread with their meals, make tortillas , their is a product called Pioneer flour tortillas mix , my wife and I tested a bag of it by storing it in a cool dark cellar for ten years, then we opened it up to test to see if it was still good, my were we surprised, we checked for bugs in the flour, NONE what so ever. Then we made ten tortillas over an iron flat plate, one that can also be used on an open fire. We cooked them up and they were great. I could not believe it, neither could my mother in law , 80 yrs old at the time she thought they were good . What I came to find out later that the same flour mill that made that brand made also an even better tasting flour tortilla mix that is ready to go by just adding water, is called White Wings flour tortilla mix .
It doesn’t even take something exotic like Ebola. A bad strain of the flu could overload our medical system and push society to the edge of collapse – and maybe beyond. Preparedness is going to be essential in any kind of major outbreak. Expect stores to be quickly emptied by panic buying, and then probably looting; hospitals won’t be able to cope, and everyone will be forced back onto their own resources. That’s why it’s vital to have those resources.

Depends on the size of your family and the time period in which you’ll use it. Once mylar or buckets are open, they are susceptible to many organisms that will make your food inedible. Double to triple serving sizes max. Filling tummies is fairly easy. Doing it safely and palateably is different. Also, your family will need variety to keep harmony. Much of our emotional well-being depends on the gut.
Honey is one food that never spoils! Although the look of your product will change somewhat over time, it will never actually spoil. It will begin to look yellow and cloudy instead of golden and clear and will get thicker and grainy over time, eventually looking white and hard. But, it is still good. In this form, the honey may have started the process of crystallizing.
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