I believe that the only real weakness in this article is the insistence that needing to add a lot of water is a downside to a particular food. Water is life. If you do not have an essentially unlimited supply of water, you will die when it runs out, and food is entirely irrelevant. If there isn’t an essentially unlimited supply on your property (well, stream, lake, etc), nor a nearby supply you can lug to your property, then you need to abandon your place and go somewhere that has water.
17. Spices and Condiments. Adding some spices and condiments to your food storage pantry will allow you to vary the taste of your storage foods, thus mitigating some of the boredom that is likely to occur over time. The exact mix of spices and condiments is up to you but some suggestions include garlic, chili, Tabasco (hot sauce), salsa, oregano, thyme and black pepper. For a full list of the best prepper herbs and spices, check out the BDS guide here.
In my tours in Afghanistan we used a lot of “connex”/shipping containers for bunkers. Keep in mind that this was AFTER we hardened them with additional steel “I” beams and a lot of extra welding and they were placed above ground surrounded by HESCO barriers and covered on top with about 3 feet of sand bags. The ceiling would bow inward from the weight even in spite of the reinforcement and the bunkers that had been there for several years would leak and the ceiling and walls were warped pretty badly. They worked great for incoming rocket fire and mortars… Read more »
“One misconception about prepping is that you’re always thinking there’s going to be some kind of epic disaster,” she told me over the phone from Virginia. “The most common disaster that we prep for, or that happens to us, is a financial problem.” A longtime single mother, Luther said her interest in food storage grew out of a period of “abject poverty” following the 2008 recession. Lisa Bedford, a Texas-based writer who runs the site The Survival Mom, told me she got into disaster preparedness around the same time, when she wasn’t sure if her husband’s construction business would survive the downturn. (Bedford also works as an independent consultant for Thrive Life, meaning that she promotes their products online, and receives a commission on purchases from customers she refers to the company, as well as a discount on products she buys herself.)
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.
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!
First aid: Many of the first aid kits you’ll find in Amazon searches aren’t good enough for survival scenarios (regardless of what their marketing says) because they’re meant for daily use or OSHA work compliance. Invest in a high-quality kit that includes supplies for more serious injuries like broken bones or deep, bleeding wounds. Frankly, we’ve never found an off-the-shelf kit we’re 100% happy with, but a great starter option is this Adventure Medical Fundamentals Kit.
Of course you'll also need light when the power's out. Martin recommends keeping a stock of cheap candles on hand so you don't burn through your pricier good-smelling candles. More practical, though, are LED flashlights (be sure you have extra batteries and know where they are) and another product called a Mule Light. Like a hybrid of a glow stick and flashlight, he explained, “it's designed to save on battery power.” Why not have them all? Martin suggests having two to four sources of light.
Many years ago, while living in Australia, I was bitten by a snake. I’d gone walkabout and wasn’t carrying medical supplies, but I met a few locals who very quickly rustled up a remedy to ease the pain and stop the swelling. That was the first time I realised the importance of thinking ahead, and I’ve prepped in a small way ever since. About 10 years ago I got into prepping seriously. I started to analyse “what-if” scenarios: what if something went wrong near to where I live? What would I do? How would I survive?
I know that you two are really heavily focused on gear, but I think something like having a solid stock of mason jars (various sizes) to fill with preserves would be a far better option then your plastic air tight sealing bags that will quickly run out in most situations. Why not just use ziplock bags if you must? For that matter, you’d probably want to have a big pot and a few key tools to cook your preserving in.
I’ve written in a previous article about beans as survival food. No matter how you look at it, the bottom line is that beans are a superfood. They are high in protein and fiber and other nutrients that can help keep you healthy during an extended crisis. They are excellent foods to feed more than one person since one cup of dry beans makes 2-3 cups of cooked beans (depending on the variety). Once you get to the store, make sure you pick three large bags of beans. To diversify your meals feel free to choose your favorite. One thing to mention is that beans are also proper survival seeds. In case you need to start a garden, you already have some of the seeds waiting for you.
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.
When things go bad, you will want to ensure your family has at least some regular comfort foods and that you can eat real, freshly prepared food for as long as possible. However, if you have no MREs or freeze dried food and you have to bug out and leave all your preps behind, you might have a hard time carrying a lot of canned goods with you. You will also want to avoid something called “food fatigue,” which is when a person gets so bored of eating the same food all the time that they don’t feel like eating that food, even if it’s the only thing they have, combined with the lack of nutritional variety in their food.
IPAWS, in coordination with the FCC, is continually engaging the EAS Community through many activities, including information updates, workshops, roundtables, webinars, and on-site State and local EAS demonstrations to continue a solutions-oriented dialogue. IPAWS has also developed an external idea sharing website, A National Dialogue on the Emergency Alert System to discuss best practices and lessons learned from the EAS Community on a variety of topics that will support discussions during webinar and roundtable events.
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.
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.
Thanks and an excellent article. However, I am convinced that when this nation goes down it is not just going down: It is going under! Therefore we never quit prepping. There is no such thing as having to much food and water. We just keep adding it on and bracing for the day we know will come sooner or later. It may be Greece, Puerto Rico, or and emp etc. Who cares, sooner or later the crutches are going to be kicked from under this country and the Rodney King riots x 1000 are going to burn our cities to the ground. Anyone that is not habitually prepping is committing suicide. thanks
For a time in the 1970s, the terms survivalist and retreater were used interchangeably. While the term retreater eventually fell into disuse, many who subscribed to it saw retreating as the more rational approach to conflict-avoidance and remote "invisibility". Survivalism, on the other hand, tended to take on a more media-sensationalized, combative, "shoot-it-out-with-the-looters" image.
If you just need to cover one person for two weeks in the cheapest way possible, you can buy one bucket for $130 and stretch the 27,330 total calories an extra day or two at 1,900 calories per day instead of the usual 2,275. Or buy two buckets for the cheapest way to cover two people. But we’d recommend a minimum of two buckets regardless, even for one person, just for redundancy and the unexpected.
I’ve known two families with fallout/blast shelters, both 1950s vintage. One was built in the basement of an existing house, and was strictly a fallout shelter. Cement blocks, and and a corridor entrance with two angles, something like the entrances one sees today in airport bathrooms. I don’t remember what they used for the ceiling, tho we used to play in it as kids. It had a hand crank ventilation system, which IIRC used a whale of a lot of arm power for the amount of air it moved.
Disclaimer: I haven’t tried this, I don’t think it’s a gimmick, but it’s something that’s on my wishlist to try regardless. Won’t charge much more than a phone, and probably not even that well, but if I have my emergency back up dumb phone on me plus this sucker, I can always call out for help so long as I’ve got the reception to. Even if I forgot to charge my emergency phone. Nice idea.
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.
Edible landscaping provides another potentially important supplement to your storage foods. Instead of planting ornamental trees, plant fruit trees. Instead of ordinary shrubs, plant blueberry bushes. Fruiting vines, blackberries, and things of this nature are great to have around in the best of times, they can be life savers in the worst of times.
But mothers like Nygaard, Luther, and Bogwalker probably don’t need to a sociologist to remind them of that: They’re busy taking care of the kids, cooking, cleaning, running their own business, and doing their best to ensure that everyone around them has everything they need. It can be hard to draw the line between being a mom who is a survivalist and simply being a mom who lives her life with an eye to the future, but maybe that’s kind of the point: In giving traditional “women’s work” a name — like prepping or homesteading — they’re simply making that work more visible.
Combine dry ingredients and oil then add enough water to make a soft but not sticky dough. Knead for 5 minutes and let rest for 15 minutes. Roll out to whatever size you want them to be and then fry in a lightly oiled pan on medium heat, flipping once. You can flip more if needed. It can be hard to gauge cooking times well when you are using heat sources like wood fire or a camp stove.
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.
I.N.C.H. pack: I'm Never Coming Home pack. A pack containing everything needed to walk out into the woods and never return to society. It is a heavy pack loaded with the gear needed to accomplish any wilderness task, from building shelter to gaining food, designed to allow someone to survive indefinitely in the woods. This requires skills as well as proper selection of equipment, as one can only carry so much. For example, instead of carrying food, one carries seeds, steel traps, a longbow, reel spinners and other fishing gear.
Still, these extraterrestrial-looking foodstuffs seem to be having something of a moment: For the past four years, Costco has been selling pallets of shriveled vegetables, fruits, grains, and meats that promise to feed a single family for up to a year—and if you’re not a member, you can purchase similar survival kits, many of which boast a 20- to 30-year shelf life, at Walmart and Target. One top seller, Wise Company, saw its sales nearly double over the past four years, reaching around $75 million, according to a Bloomberg Businessweek cover story last November. The company’s CEO, Jack Shields, told me he estimates the industry as a whole generates between $400 and $450 million annually in retail.