Buy the best flashlight models you can afford, and focus on a blend of output and runtime. Variable mode and output lights are more complicated to use, but their power-saving features and different color LED’s may be worthwhile. Lights are useful for signaling anytime there is low or no light, and powerful ones can be easily seen for miles, so don’t skimp on output.
A very timely article! I’ve been purchasing some basic dehydrated foods to experiment with this past month or so and hope to start cooking with them in the new year. I want to see what I will use and what, if anything, won’t be as popular. I’m starting small, but really looking forward to playing with them. 🙂 Also, there is something very seductive about not having to worry about whether or not I have any fresh eggs or milk or sour cream on hand just when I need them!

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The trouble with the prepper movement’s rhetoric of self-reliance, Mitchell says, is that it’s based on a faulty premise. Just as the homesteaders who settled the Great Plains were a lot more interdependent than American mythology typically chalks them up to be — frequently relying on bartering and income from jobs in town to take care of their nutritional needs, rather than growing everything themselves — surviving a true cataclysmic event requires collaboration.
I opened my MRE and noticed that everything was still pretty much the same. You have food in foil packets although my packets weren’t in separate boxes. They did include the nutritional insert though and I never understood why they had the extra boxes anyway. Another thing we didn’t have when I was in was the handy ration heater. The ration heater is activated by placing a little water in a bag. The water mixes with an element and causes a chemical reaction that generates heat. You wrap your entrée in the bag,  and in 10 minutes you are supposed to have a hot meal. It didn’t work that way for me.
18.  5 pounds of Coffee or 100 Tea Bags.  There are those that will say that life without coffee is not life at all.  Whole bean (assuming you have a hand grinder), ground or instant – take your choice.  Or substitute tea.  Green tea and many herbal teas are quite therapeutic so if you like tea, this may be a good way to go. To learn more about bulk coffee processing and storing for preppers, read this guide here.
I think the point of the quicky foods like the ravioli is actually good thinking. You may not have access to water right away, or run out. The other foods require water to cook. I have thought about that issue myself. what if you don’t want the whole neighborhood coming to your house when they smell the food. Precooked canned food can be eaten cold. No smells in the air to give you away. Think about that one. Please.

The 3 most important immediate needs are water availability, water purity and food to feed the family. I am starting a business to be an authorized dealer for items that meet these needs – as a way to help out friends, neighbors who have not started preparing for immediate needs if the power goes off for more than a week. Hand pump on the well head, Water purifiers and a home freeze dryer which will pay for itself in a year or 2 based on the prices of freeze died foods. I really, really want to freeze dry my own highly nutritious food without preservatives instead of buying commercial freeze dried foods.

I bought these candles after we experienced a prolonged power outage. We had headlamps that all had charged batteries so we used those to see in the dark. It became apparent to me that candles are nice because you can place them on a table and have permanent low light where you can sit and work. It is a lot more peaceful than the blinding light of headlamps shining on your face.
I mean, how can you possibly deny the usefulness of one of these? I’ve spoken about it before in my article about staying indoors when the power’s out: having a brick room-sized shed/garage separate from the house and put a fireplace there is pretty much my idea of the perfect prepper space to create. And this is the wood-burning stove/fireplace that would go there. In my dreams of course, because first you need to have the right property, then the right garage/shed, then finally I can grab this sort of remarkably useful kind of thing.

But wheat is not the only survival basic that may be unfamiliar.  Beans of all types, as well rice, are two food storage staples.  Learn to cook these items now, so you have an arsenal of recipes ready to go when and if the time comes.  Both beans and rice are inexpensive and work well with a variety of condiments making them ideal additions to the survival food pantry.
Another best practice is to store a variety of foods in a single bucket.  So, for example, instead of creating a bucket filled with a single food type, create a bucket that include a variety of foods plus appropriate condiments.  If you are ever forced to use your food storage, you can pull a single bucket with everything you need to get by instead of riffling through a dozen or more buckets to gather what you need for meal-preparation.
For Sais, it is a family affair. He and his wife don’t have children but their wider family of nieces and nephews often go out to the bush to learn how to build shelter and start fires. They’re fun camping trips but also survival training. His parents also know the bug-out locations. Whether they are willing or not to go there in the event of a “situation”, he’s not sure. “We have had conversations,” he says.
“I was ordered to spend $700,000 on my department, or risk losing funding for the upcoming year even though there was little need for anything. My budget was already substantial, but I ended up buying new computers for the Computer Learning Center, half of which, one month later, were carved with graffiti by the appreciative students who obviously feel humbled and grateful to have a free education in America. (More and more of our tax dollars at work!)”
If it’s at all below the level of the water table, it will flood, concrete, steel, or other materials be damned. Sure, there is some top-notch engineering you can do to keep the water out, but it’s expensive. One solution is to put the bunker at ground level and then pile dirt on top of it, but you need very large amount of dirt to protect it from impact.
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I just downloaded your lists and I find them to be VERY valuable. So much so that I’ll be having my stay at home wife/co-prepper go through all of our supplies this coming week and populate all of the lists. We already had one for our BOB’s but it makes me realize we need good ones for food beyond just going through the pantry every 6 months and replacing. We need additional for security (ammo, firearms), fuel (white gas for coleman, kindling for BioLite, hardwood for indoor stove), water (we only store about 5 cases of bottled but it does need to rotate. We store so little b/c of space constraints in the big city and we have no less than a homemade Berkey, coffee filters by the 1000’s for pre-filtering the REAL crud out, MSR backpackable and of course a handful of lifestraw’s. We have access to a 120,000 gallon swimming pool and can distill that or we have access to what we firmly believe is a spring fed creek below us, that runs 365 days a year, rain or not. Anyway, thanks for the sheets. We will take the premise and expand on it. I plan to combine them all into one giant workbook kept up to date on a USB key and kept protected in my Faraday. I will be able to use them via PC, laptop, Android phone and tablet that way.


During an emergency, the vast majority of people will buy foods that do not provide long-term comfort. This is why items such as bread or milk will disappear first. They think that the crisis will last only a few days and even though that might be true, it’s not always a guarantee. In most case, you will have a chance of making a last survival shopping trip, but if the crisis extends past those days, you won’t have a second chance.

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.
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113. Solar cooker/oven – Solar cooking has been around for hundreds of years. They are amazing and you really can cook with the sun, though it does take some patience, think of them as a slow cooker. A proper solar cooker can easily reach degrees of 300F so cooking should be no problem! And what more abundant energy source do you need as the sun. All that is needed is the sun & optimum weather. Here is a solar cooker ready to go. Or you can build your own. Here is a DIY solar cooker from an old satellite dish:
Also, I’m not a big fan of eating canned food if I don’t have to. I feel it comes with chemicals and has less nutrients. However, in certain situations, it’s better to do that than starve. It definitely stores well. I like to keep beans and seeds around to sprout when I need them. Sprouts are highly nutritious and it fits better with my taste buds as I eat mostly fresh foods; although I am also keen on the beans and rice idea and I always stockpile 3 months of organic oatmeal if I can. Another thing I do is buy carrots and cabbage in bulk and leave them in the refrigerator as both veggies last a long time and you can eat them for at least a month if not longer. Onions are also a decent vegetable for lasting for a duration and when they start to sprout you have yourself some green onions instead. Potatoes also last fairly well. If you buy spaghetti squash and pumpkin in September, it will usually last until February.
Common preparations include the creation of a clandestine or defensible retreat, haven, or bug out location (BOL) in addition to the stockpiling of non-perishable food, water, water-purification equipment, clothing, seed, firewood, defensive or hunting weapons, ammunition, agricultural equipment, and medical supplies. Some survivalists do not make such extensive preparations, and simply incorporate a "Be Prepared" outlook into their everyday life.
Grains. Grains are good for making flour or meal. Wheat and corn are the most common. Bear in mind that you will need a grain mill to process these, and I recommend a good hand mill in case power is an issue. By storing whole grains instead of flour or meal you drastically increase storage life. Again you can buy these in ore-sealed buckets, or repackage bulk purchases yourself to save money. If you want to increase the shelf life even more, you can turn them into flour and then into Hardtacks.
Good point. But if you do have your drives and at least one very simple computer stashed away in an emp-proof container it will once again become useful when they eventually get the lights turned on again. And make no mistake about it. We will rebuild our civilization. Up to that point, yes, I entirely agree with you that hard copy is easier to deal with.
I’ve seen a few people saying that an EMP attack would be more destructive than a nuclear war. It wouldn’t. An actual nuclear war would cause unimaginable devastation. Major cities would be flattened and burned by multiple strikes. Airports, harbors and military bases would be hit. Smaller warheads would take out freeway intersections and rail junctions. Parts of the country would be blanketed in fallout. Dust and smoke pumped into the atmosphere by the explosions would block the sun’s light for weeks, adding cold weather to all the other hazards. Then, on top of that, you’d have the EMP as well. Every weapon would cause local EMP damage, and it’s almost certain that high altitude EMP bursts would be included in the strike to maximize the chaos. A major nuclear war would be a lot worse than an EMP. Short of an impact from a slate-wiper asteroid it would be worse than anything I can imagine.
It would be tight in my climate but there are days we could be ok on a gal./per for both cooking and basic hygeine, and days we would be quite stinky…when there is no water. That is the way, you allow something less important to slide a day or part of a day…. For the summer temps of 90 and humidity of 65-80%, no way. Closer to 2 gallons a day for drinking alone. as far as baths…. There is what is called a “pan bath” or “rag bath” One takes a cloth wets it with amount of water to totally wet coth adds soap and washes everything needed…puts a little more water over that rag/ or another and rinses it and ones self wih a second wipe over …Ideal? no ..Where things are not ideal, people learn to make do.
A bug out bag is critical but what do you put in it? When considering disaster preparedness, keep in mind that what survival gear and emergency supplies you add to your bug out bag and then pack for your survival kit can mean the difference between life and death, or at least affect your level of comfort if SHTF and you had to get outta dodge. Read this article to find out what you should consider putting in your bug out bag.
Thanks, Viet Nam Vet. People keep calling us a democracy but that is not our form of government. Our founding fathers were reluctant to have a true democracy because they correctly feared mob rule. It doesn’t bother me that government moves slowly. That keeps it from swaying to and fro in shallow breezes. Congress was supposed to be a deliberative body. The Supreme Court was supposed to be an even more deliberative body. Rapid response is only acceptable in the troops coming to your rescue, not in governments.
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

Yup, rocket stove DIYs are easy to find, but to each his own and if I can afford to spend $150 on a good knife, I can also afford to spend the same on a rocket stove that’s good looking, lightweight, extremely portable and a one-time buy. It’s the kind of thing I wouldn’t mind pulling out in front of the sheeple to have a BBQ or go camping with, and that makes me happy one way or another. Just like the rain barrel, I could DIY one myself, but it’s unlikely to look even a fraction as good (especially with my incredibly poor DIY skills), and so I’d rather just buy one and be done with it.


In his 2016 book, Can It! The Perils and Pleasures of Preserving Foods, Gary Allen, a food writer and adjunct professor at SUNY Empire State College, traces the evolution of food preservation as a source of culinary innovation. “The original food-preservation methods—like salting and drying and all that—actually turned the food into something else,” he told me over the phone. “Cabbage sauerkraut is not the same thing as cabbage. Wine is not the same thing as grape juice.”
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