Hello Ryan. My experience has been that the more that you can keep air (oxygen) away from your food the longer the shelf life. I like to seal packaged food into larger mylar bags with an oxygen packet, then I seal the bag. I store these mylar bags in a 5 gallon bucket with lid. Wal Mart has these buckets for sale that cost $2.97 and the lid is $1.12. I personally like having a few barriers between my food and mice, bugs…etc. Let us know what you decide to do!
5.  20 cans of Meat.  Chicken, tuna, shrimp, salmon, Vienna sausages, beef stew and yes, even the ubiquitous Spam will satisfy this requirement.  Did you know that you can even purchase canned roast beef? Again, let your taste and budget guide you – there is lots to choose from. UPDATE: If you are looking for some long lasting but all natural, non-GMO canned meats, check out Wertz’s meats here. You can also read our recent hands-on review.
8. Basic camping gear.  In the case of an evacuation, take this with you in case hotels are already filled.  Additionally, camping skills double as survival skills.  Learning how to locate the best camping spot, how to pitch a tent, how to cook over a fire, and how to enjoy nature are important for every member of the family to learn.  A good quality tent, sleeping bags, sleeping pads (for us older folks!), and a campstove are good basics to begin with.
This is not rocket science. You can really just thrown some meat, veggies, and spices in a pot and add some water, boil, and eat. What I hope this article does is get you thinking about food combinations that will get you through tough times and makes those that are just starting out with cooking realize that you don’t always have to measure everything down to the tbsp.
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 »
When doing a mixed container, I put the Ziploc bag with various condiments from Taco Bell and other places, salt, pepper, hot sauce soup mixes and lots of things which can be put in the cracks and crevices in there. Also, put in the Ziploc with matches( in a small spice bottle) a couple of boxcutters and a manual can opener. Sam’s had tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, etc. for three dollars and change per #10 can.
Purchasing survival gear is a necessary part of the prepping process but it should not be done to the exclusion of food, water, and medical supplies.  The exception to this rule is water purification and fire-making tools both of which can be acquired for very little cost. For example, consider pool shock for water treatment plus a magnesium fire tool and dryer lint for fire-making.

Water should be able to be stored indefinitely provided it is not contaminated in any way. The problem with storing water in a car is the heat or cold. In the summer time, your water could bake. In really hot environments, if your water is stored in plastic, chemicals in the plastic can leech into your water. There could be some debate about what is the greater harm, chemicals or death by dehydration, but it is something to consider. In the same way, water in the winter can freeze, but as long as it isn’t getting contaminated from any other… Read more »
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.
But there are more and more like-minded people out there in communities around the country: engineers, nurses, doctors, dentists, people with different skills and mindsets and ways of contributing. We’re harmonious. We offer each other support and keep ourselves to ourselves. We see prepping as a way to increase our chances of survival if something happens. And we’re all ready to get out of the way when it does.
I followed the instructions or so I thought but my heater didn’t warm up. I waited the 10 minutes but finally decided to eat my meatballs cold. They weren’t bad at all, but I know they would have been so much better warm. My survival dog certainly loved the taste too when I gave her one of the small meatballs to taste. When I finished eating, I noticed that the warmer was finally getting warm so I placed my Au gratin potatoes in there. Yes, they had Au gratin potatoes and although they didn’t have the slightly burnt edges from being in the oven but they were cheesy and filling. They only needed a little salt and pepper to doctor them up. The heater worked just fine after-all.
Balance is also something to remember when you are prepping your food storage. There is a better chance of survival when you pack a month or two of a wide variety of stuff than if you have a year’s supply of 2 or 3 items. If an emergency happens, then you would have a better chance of surviving if you count on your 2 month supply of a wider range of items than you would on just wheat flour and rice, for example.

Don’t fret over that: below I have provided a handy checklist for what I think are think are the most essential supplies to stock and steps to implement if you are starting from zero or close to zero. This article will not be detailed step-by-step guide on any one skill, discussion over what foods have the best calorie-to-shelf-life ratio or the absolute best way to store water. All of that has been discussed in detail with expert input here and elsewhere. What the list will be is your jump-start to taking simple, positive action that will give the you of today better survival odds in a crisis over the you of yesterday.


20.  Mini LED Flashlight and Extra Batteries.  Okay, this is a cheater item.  It is not food but it is all important and so it will not hurt to stash a miniature flashlight or two along with the edibles in your food storage pantry.  My top pick of the moment is the Blocklite.  This thing just goes and goes and goes plus, it does not take up any storage space.
Hi Chuck. Another book you might find interesting is “The Third Horseman – Climate Change and The Great Famine of The 14th Century” by William Rosen. There was a period of global cooling that led to massive crop failures, famine and an outbreak of bubonic plague combined with warfare that killed one eighth of Europe’s population. Depressing as hell but very interesting as it shows how all of these things are interrelated.
Then you would need water, food, composting toilet. There would likely be an EMP, so you’d need a radio protected in mylar bag, and that bag has to be protected from the blast. The radio may be a source of info about how your area was hit. The government would do a survey about the affected area. If you are on your own, you’d need a radiation detector and knowledge to do your own survey. You’d likely need to leave an area eventually, but EMP likely would’ve disabled your car.
As someone who reads a lot on the internet, you have likely come across many authorities with “expert” advice on one topic or another.  This is where the gray matter between your ears becomes the most important tool in your box of prepper skills.  Think it through before you unilaterally apply someone’s expertise to your own situation.  Let me repeat: this includes advice and suggestions from this website!
With freeze dried foods you can get a good selection of nutritionally balanced foods and they are easy to carry, even if you have to bug out. They have a very long shelf-life of up to 25 years. The only drawback is if you don’t have water, you can’t rehydrate your food. Plus, it is ideal to have warm water so you can have a warm meal, so if there is no way to heat your water, then you will be eating a cold meal.
When it burns, EPS produces heavy, acrid and toxic smoke. This obviously presents another serious problem when you are in a confined space, from which there is no escape. Even a small event in which this material merely smoldered with no open flame can/would have dire consequences for the occupants. Exposure to the heavy smoke generated, even if only for a few minutes, has been shown to be lethal.
You can’t go wrong with instant mashed potatoes, they are a great and inexpensive addition to your food storage. I like Gaye, will use the DAK ham, it is one step up from SPAM. You can add it to a pot of bean soup or fry it up with some potatoes and onions and peppers. I look for versitile foods that are low in sodium and that serve multiple purposes.
Editor’s Note: This article was generously contributed by Clarence Mason and in it he compares and contrasts two different survival bunker designs. Each have their advantages, but if you are considering building your own survival retreat option in the future, it makes sense to consider what is the best bunker design before you get too far down the planning road.
And there is no trouble with right wing speakers speaking- they just need to take the heat for what they say like grown ups. To speak, the left endured beatings, water hoses, attack dogs, bombs, prison. These complaining right wing “speakers” are wimps & whiners. No one rolled the red carpet out for the actual Free Speech Movement & young people were beaten for speaking out, fired, expelled and yet they fought on and made gains because treating people with equality, being against war, is a positive and healthy human endeavor. Supremacy is not.
A former army base that was decommissioned in 1967, Vivos xPoint claims to be the largest survival community on earth. Right now, xPoint consists of 575 hardened concrete off-grid bunkers buried in quiet grasslands of South Dakota, near the Wyoming border. The facility may expand to as many as 5,000 bunkers, with features planned like a general store, hydroponic gardens, hot tub spa, shooting ranges, and even a community theater.
Great read, but #14 in my opinion is not good. Why is it always the prepper in the family that has to compromise? Prepping is not a number one priority, it is the only priority. There is nothing but prepping. It is not a way of life, it is life itself. What good will prepping do anyone if they are away on vacation when the lights go out or a nuclear blast occurs? What good is anything connected with survival if it is not with you 24/7/365.25? One window of opportunity is all an intentional or happenstance enemy needs to cull a prepper. Life is life and death is death and their is no inbetween. A little bit of further advice on bugging out, if you will allow. All this bogus info about bug out bags, bug out vehicles, and bug out locations is just a ton of suicidal bs as far as survival goes. Any bug out bag a person can reasonably carry will not provide enough food to last more than 60 days. We have tried this and dehydrated food is the only feasible plan one can have for lengthy time driven bugging out. Canned food is good, but extremely heavy. Dehydrated food and lifestraws will put you light years ahead of the pack{We dehydrate our own vegetables, fruits, and meats]. Vehicles will only get you killed so how do you take enough supplies to last a year or more. Well, the lowly wheel barrow works tremendously well. With or without a few homemade alterations, such as side bodies, the ‘Texas dump truck'[wheelbarrow] will carry an enormous amount of supplies and is easily hidden while we scout out an area or forage for food or the best drinking water. The wheelbarrow, in effect, is our bug out location. Whereever it is, we will not be far away.One person alone can carry a lot, a whole lot, and if you have two or more people the possibilites are almost unlimited. Make sure the inflatable tires are replaced with solid rubber if possible. We had no trouble in finding solid rubber replacement tires but if you do then get a hand pump and several tube repair kits. Garden utility wagons also work well. Even for carrying infants and small pets the wheelbarrow/garden wagon works great. Admittedly I do not live in the mountains and don’t really know how functional a wheelbarrow would be in that terrain, but it works great in the flatlands and hills. For the small amount of money invested and the positive results achieved a wheelbarrow is the way to go when shft. thanks and God bless.
I think it depends on the situation. Dollar for dollar, I think you can get more for your money. A case of gov MRE’s is around 75-100 dollars. That’s 12 meals. If you have a family, and if this is your only means of ‘survival’ food, it is not going to last that long. For food on the run, the tactical run, it is an excellent option to have. For a 72 hour grid down fight or flight scenario, also a good option. While I wouldn’t completely write them off as useless or non essential in most survival situations, they… Read more »
Luther understands the need for such a policy. A month after she gave birth to her first daughter, her husband lost his job. “We had absolutely no money coming in for three months,” she recalls. “We had a whole bunch of bagels that I had gotten on sale in our freezer, and we had some peanut butter, and we had some vegetables in our garden in the backyard. And that was absolutely all we had to eat. It’s terrifying when you’ve got a new little one and no money to take care of her.”
Obviously, solar panels by themselves are quite useful things to have, and since both Broadwing and Ned in the comments suggested that Goal Zero is quite overpriced, I’d be remiss to leave out mentioning another, more price-sensitive option. Ned recommended Aukey as a brand that makes solar power equivalents to Goal Zero gear for far cheaper. In his words, Aukey “make the exact same thing for a fraction of the cost.”
Luther understands the need for such a policy. A month after she gave birth to her first daughter, her husband lost his job. “We had absolutely no money coming in for three months,” she recalls. “We had a whole bunch of bagels that I had gotten on sale in our freezer, and we had some peanut butter, and we had some vegetables in our garden in the backyard. And that was absolutely all we had to eat. It’s terrifying when you’ve got a new little one and no money to take care of her.”

When preparing food for storage, take into account the need for future food, if long-term emergencies occur. This would include a space for growing your own food, hydroponics, plant food, and good quality heirloom non-GMO seeds, UV lamps, and good quality earth to grow the seeds in. For tips on how to stock a survival garden, see our topic on homesteading to learn more.

I purchased a 30 day supply for 2 people of freeze dried food – that was when I had a basement to store it in. Now i live in the Arizona desert with no basement. I considered purchasing additional food storage but then realized, I for some reason I have no power, it’ll most likely be very hot (especially if summer time), therefore not way to regulate temperature. Any storage food I did purchase would be ruined ( I assume). Anyone else have this issue when thinking about the unthinkable?

Contrary to what a lot of people think, the most important thing you need to survive a disaster is water. The body can go weeks without food but only a few days without water. And once you start getting dehydrated, there goes your energy levels, your clear-headedness, and your ability to make rational decisions.   You will need this gear to ensure your supply of water:


Kimberly – In an electrical power failure you probably have three days. If this is purely local outage then a generator is no problem. If it is a large event with scarce fuel available like hurricane Sandy, then that could be a problem without alt.fuel. If you only had 3 days you could yank meat out and cook it if you have non-electric cooking sources. I wouldn’t depend on more than 20 lbs of meat being useful after electricity failure. Is saving frozen meat beyond what you could cook immediately worth the expense of the generator, fuel, maintenance, etc. in a long term outage?
There is more to the business than just building a quality product. Aside of the advanced engineering that goes into underground structures, it’s also imperative for a company to have an advanced understanding of geology, excavation and the installation. We’ve been in the underground shelter business for more than a decade and we’ve installed more bunkers and bomb shelters than any of our competitors.  This gives us a vast knowledge on every aspect of the business.
My two cents worth here. Go with 5 gallon buckets. Many purchased from the local donut shop at $1.25. My variation on Mylar bags and oxygen absorbers — a chunk of dry ice, about 3×4 inches. With this on the bottom of the bucket and little piece of paper towel over it, pour in rice or beans or wheat or corn or a mixture of things. Put the lid on, but do not snap it tight. Wait a few minutes until the bottom of the bucket is not real cold and snap the lid on. Dry ice, which is CO2, forces out the air in the bucket. I recently opened rice and a mixed container which had been sealed five years ago. Everything was fine. Obviously we did eight or 10 of these buckets at once. Got dry ice from the local grocery store. Be sure to wear gloves when handling it.

In practice, the process can be a bit tricky. Freeze-dried meals require that you have potable water lying around, which might not be the case in the event of a serious calamity (some Wise Company kits include water purifiers). The cooking instructions for the Wise products I tested call for using the entire four-serving bag at once, which means that you have to have a container on hand to store what you don’t eat, and a fridge to keep it from spoiling. Even at my office kitchen, the only way I could make it work was by pouring about a fourth of the packet in a mug, filling it with water, and putting another mug on top of it.
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