That spirit of self-sufficiency runs through the history of American food culture. Lydia Maria Child’s 1829 manual The Frugal Housewife, one of the first American cookbooks ever published, instructed women to contribute to their family’s finances by making sure no scrap of food was wasted: “Nothing should be thrown away so long as it is possible to make any use of it, however trifling that use may be.” The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints* encourages members to keep a three-month food supply on hand at all times, and even sells dehydrated food products on its official website. This Mormon connection may be why Utah is such a freeze-dried food hub: Of 21 freeze-dried food companies I counted online, 16 were from the state, and Bedford told me she first learned about long-term food storage by reading blogs by Mormon women.
When I am going through a grocery store gathering survival food, I get some strange looks from people close enough to hear me muttering under my breath as I discount items. Phrases like “not enough calories”, “needs more fat”, not enough carbs”, and the like roll off my tongue frequently. The truth of the matter is that what we consider to be a healthy diet in normal times is probably inadequate in a high stress, very active, crisis situation. There is a reason we like carbs, and fats, and sugars, and that reason is our body needs these things. The human palate developed in times when being physically active and dealing with life threatening events was the norm, and when a steady supply of food was not a guarantee. Hence the urge to get all we can when we can, which leads to rampant obesity in modern sedentary times but is adaptive to survival in harder times.
One of the biggest issues with GMO food is the allergy cross-over. Because genes from nuts, fish, soy and other highly allergenic plants/animals are used in the to give the need seed the desired characteristics, they can trigger serious allergic reactions in people who had no way of knowing the food was dangerous or even which food it was that caused it! If that wasn't bad enough already, it will certainly only be worse in a grid-down situation where medical care is limited at best.
115. Generator – Generators are great in emergency situations, especially if power is crucial for medical reasons. Long-term however there is debate at how viable generators can benefit as you will need a constant supply of fuel as well as fuel storage. Not to mention if the power has been down for months and would-be scavengers are rummaging the neighborhood when they hear the sound of a generator running?? If you do plan on getting one, look for tri-fuel generators.

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.
So, what about specialty prepper food? Is there such a thing? Yes. Even though you can turn your everyday food into prepper food simply by storing it away under the proper conditions, you can also purchase speciality prepper food that has a long shelf-life and will keep you and your family well-fed for a long time. There are basically two types of specialty prepper food – MREs and freeze dried food.
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.
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.
I’ve always thought the UK was sheltered from major natural disaster. But when I returned from LA I reconsidered, and I started to identify situations for which prepping might give me a bit of an advantage. It’s basic stuff: having a first aid kit in my car, storing extra food, carrying a power bank for my mobile phone – things a lot of us do naturally. Think of mothers with young kids: they’ve all packed a first aid kid, some water, some food. That’s a go-bag.

Hopefully, you will never have to use it, but you should have it. A self-defense weapon is a critical part of your prepper gear. Sometimes, just showing it is enough to deter people. Obviously, a firearm is the best choice. But there are other options, such as a crossbow or longbow with arrows, a taser, or a knife. Whatever you choose, be sure you are well-trained and practiced and that you have plenty of ammo.
There is one important aspect of planning your freeze dried food storage:  try some sample meals before you invest in a six month or one year supply of one particular brand.  I have my own preferences that you are welcome to use as a guideline (check out Mountain House or Legacy Foods) but there are others.  Also keep in mind that some kits are chock full of sugary drinks and other fillers. Yes, you will need some beverages but they should not comprise 40% of your daily caloric intake.
Thanks for the tips! I was actually thinking of doing a post on this but tweaking it to fit ranches. We had a major freeze this year that left us without power for over a week, and the freeze burnt our pump so we couldn't water. We also had several major wildfires that left us without cell service b/c a tower was disabled. I was totally unprepared. I thought we were going to lose everything in our freezer, I couldn't wash clothes or dishers (not a great experience if you have a house full of kids) and no way to communicate with anyone. And that is when a friend recommended your site. It's been so helpful! I think in addition to your list, one could also use a HAM radio or emergency radio, a solar pump if you have a well, and alternative light sources.
A number of popular movies and television shows[definition needed], such as the National Geographic Channel's Doomsday Preppers, have also emerged recently[when?] to capitalize on what Los Angeles Times' entertainment contributor Mary McNamara dubbed "today's zeitgeist of fear of a world-changing event."[28] Additionally, doomsday ideas disseminated mostly online in relation to the 2012 phenomenon surrounding misunderstandings about the Mayan calendar fueled the activities of some survivalists during the run-up to the phenomenon's purported December 2012 date of the world's demise.
74. Essential oils – Having a good stock of essential oils will be very useful if the system goes down and its hard to find quality medicine. Essential oils are inexpensive and needs no prescription to buy them and can be used for antiseptics, relieve headaches, promote sleep, reduce anxiety, treat wounds, etc … Here is an article on the 25 uses of lavender which is considered the jack of all oils! You will want to have in stock a starter kit of essential oils!

I know how you feel when you get that urgent feeling that what you have is not enough. Shelly (the Survival Husband) and I were just talking about this last night. In my mind, I know that I have a lot but I keep purchasing more. Luckily, like you I am good at food rotation although I do have a lot of #10 tins and properly packaged buckets in deep storage as well. Those do not get rotated.
Label everything with the date of purchase.  Sharpie pens were created for this purpose.  However you choose to keep track,  rotate your stored food items the best you can without getting paranoid about it.  Many of the “use by” and “best by” dates on canned and packaged goods are put there by the manufacturer but relate more to taste and texture than actual spoilage.  See the next item.
And I was wondering, is there any sort of way other than keeping my TV on 24/7 for emergency broadcasts, that I could get warnings about tsunamis/flash floods or other disasters in my area in case I need, god forbid, to use my plan I've been prepping for that you guys know about? Been imagining the middle of the night a flood happening and I'm sitting in my house like a moron sleeping when I should be getting my ass out in the car.
The Emergency Essentials Premier bucket is the best short term emergency food product for most people. The $380 three-bucket option covers two people for 15-18 days at a very healthy 2,700-2,275 calories per day. One person can cover two weeks for only a single $130 bucket if you stretch the 27,330 total calories an extra day or two at 1,900 calories per day.
I love my bread machine and hope to use it as well although I do know how to bake traditional bread too. I just baked my first loaf of bread using home-milled flour. I made a 100% whole wheat bread and used a powdered egg plus some vital gluten. It was a bit more dense than normal – I should have added more water to account for the extra gluten (4 TBL). Still, it was quite delicious 🙂
Making bread is not as hard as you might think. Getting used to doing it in a Dutch Oven or solar oven is different but totally doable. I think the solar oven would be much easier to regulate the temperature and prevent burning but if you are cooking on a woodstove or hearth then you can still do it but you will have to pay more attention during cooking times.
That leads to forget about being totally self sufficient, it won’t happen. There are things you need aside from food, but even just food, nobody can produce all they need unless they live in the perfect environment. Going into the great outdoors and becoming the great hunter… not happening either. Even skilled hunters and fishermen will starve because there are too many looking to do that. If you are like us and have ponds, therein lies 1 solution, stock it with fish.
Self-Defense- Learn to use your fists, feet and weapons to good effect. Weapons, firearms in particular, can be more hazardous to you and yours than an attacker if you are not trained and practiced in their use. You do not need to master a bunch of different disciplines or types, but you should be a capable hand-to-hand fighter and competent with a gun.

See our review of over 70 of the top portable survival water filters for bug out bags. Because even though water is critical, at more than 8 pounds per gallon, it’s not practical to carry enough to last more than a day — which means you need to be able to make safe water from whatever you can. We break down the best picks (only $25!) and how to use a mix of filters, purification tablets, soft canteens, and hard bottles with filters in your kits.
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.
Forgetting to store spices, salt, oil and basic condiments that are needed for your food storage. How will your famous spaghetti sauce taste without Italian seasoning, salt, olive oil and that pinch of sugar? Beans are a great staple to have on hand and can be seasoned in a variety of ways using salt, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, soy sauce, ground red pepper and more. 

Tools: A great field knife has 1,000 critical uses, so it’s worth the investment for a large, full tang, high-quality knife. We love the ESEE 5 survival knife because it’s built like a tank and even has a divot in the grip for starting a fire with sticks. For multi-tools, you can’t go wrong with Gerbers or Leathermans; we like this Leatherman OHT. At least 20 feet of quality 550 paracord is a must-have, like this Paracord Planet 7-strand.
You know the feeling, and it's a bad one. Suddenly everything in the house goes silent and dark. Power's out. You run outside to see if it's just you, and check your breaker box. Meanwhile you're wondering: How long is it going to be out? A few minutes is one thing. A few hours, even. But if you're without electric for days on end — or longer — the throwback appeal of reading by candlelight quickly loses its charm.
Americans get taught there was a single Trail, only implemented against the Cherokee, but there were multiple Trails of Tears imposed on several Southern and mid-Western Indian tribes. Basically, any aboriginal group living on land, or above resources, coveted by Euro-whatevers (violating the 10th Commandment) got ejected and ethnically ‘cleansed’. Many robberies, rapes and murders committed against them during those atrocities. Very like what’s done to Palestinians (between 1946 and today) by Zionists, to Tibetans by communists, and now to the Rohingya (NW Burma) by nominal ‘Buddhists’.
H) The candidate that wants war (Hillary) is provably rigging the polls badly, with hacks, unregistered voters, dead voters, and scam buses taking fraudulent voters to multiple polling sites as verified by the Democratic election commissioner of New York that this will be done this year). The war candidate is hell bent on stealing the election, with the full complicity of a scamming media that is lying about everything, including burying the facts surrounding imminent war with Russia.
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.
Just for you to consider, the South was mostly Democratic in political leanings. There were not thousands of lynchings. One is too many, but they never reached thousands. The lynchings in northern cities at the beginning of the 20th century generally were by working class individuals. The Democrats have always prided themselves on the support they got from the unionized working class. If you remember, although I doubt it, your politics from the 1950s and early 60s, it was the Dixicrats, Democrats from the southern states that blocked civil rights legislation and filibustered against civil rights bills in Congress. Although I am not a religious person, there is a lot of good advice in the bible. I think one passage applies here: “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” Both parties have bloody hands. Neither party can castigate the other for sins of omission or commission.

These glow sticks were terrific! Individually wrapped (means longer shelf-life), sturdy (none of ours were prematurely activated, which has happened with other glow sticks), gave good light. We purchased for use as interior emergency lighting in case Hurricane Irma hit us (she did) and we lost power (we did). There's no danger of fire and one glow stick in the hallway in front of the bathroom made the kids much happier. The white and yellow and green could be used for reading, or for calculating Yatzee score sheets. The red lights were not as bright as the others, but that's not always a bad thing.
Personal defense items – such as rifles and heavy firearms – are going to be increasinly hard to manage the farther you move from steady supplies.  Ironically, it’s firearms that help acquire more food, provide personal protection, and deter others from attacking.  In a SHTF scenario, heavy armament is only good within fortified areas.  If you want to stay highly mobile, switch down to a .22LR polymer rifle such as the Savage survival rifle or similar.  Lightweight, collapsible, and perfect for hunting game.  Loaded with subsonic rounds, it can also be a lot more efficient than heading off a target with a loud 30-06.
Purchase some thermometers from local home repair stores like Lowe’s, Menard’s, Home Depot, etc. I use one outside to see the outside temperature year round, one in the garage just to see where we stand year round and one in my storage area in the lower level (basement)of the house. Check them on a regular basis. Last winter was so cold and hubby wanted the temperature raised a little more in the house (he is a little older than me and I am going thru the change)but I was worried my food supplies might get too warm or there would be too much up and down changes of temperature. So every day I would go to the lower level (basement), open the door to the storage area and see what the thermometer was reading, if it was too cold I would leave the doors opened a bit and close them back when my readings stayed consistent. There is no heat pumped into this area only what may drift in under the door from the outer area that is heated or air conditioned. I try to keep my food supplies stable around 58 to 62 degrees year round.So far this temperature range is working, the canned food is still maintaining flavor, color and passes the smell test. No signs of critters either. Next step will be to add gallon buckets of food items and I will take into consideration all that I have read from all of you on things that did not go according to plan. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! Keep on prepping.
You can find rice in any store in this world. It’s a cheap and healthy addition to your emergency survival foods stockpile. It will provide you with the carbohydrates that will fuel you through a disaster. Half a cup of dried rice makes 1 cup of cooked rice. When it comes to survival foods, rice will help you stretch your food supply without breaking the bank. Every time you go to the grocery store you should pick up a large bag of rice to add to your emergency food supply.
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 »
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.
I very much agree the article was amazingly detailed but i am neutral about the permits…on one hand you can get them and the county will have on paper where your bunker is which by the way the general public can look at or take the risk of no permits and guarantee that no one other then yourself and whoever you choose knows the location of you bunker….personally i would take the risk….
More countries trying to ditch the US dollar: After Venezuela, Germany, Austria and the Netherlands prudently repatriated a substantial portion (if not all) of their physical gold held at the NY Fed or other western central banks in recent years, this morning Turkey also announced that  it has decided to repatriate all its gold stored in the US Federal  Reserve and deliver it to the Istanbul Stock Exchange, according to  reports in Turkey's Yeni Safak. It won't be the first time Turkey has  asked the NY Fed to ship the country's gold back: in recent years,  Turkey repatriated 220 tons of gold from abroad, of which 28.7 tons was  brought back from the US last year.
Here’s an idea that is very useful. I found at the dollar store some space bags. I used one per person and filled it with winter gear, a multi tool, matches/lighter, a small solar light, a bit of emergency food, an emergency blanket, some basic first aid supplies, etc., then removed the air. If you pack it right, you will be able to fold it over and (I used a bungee cord) place over a strap for easy carry. Now you have an instant (and weather proof) instant kit. I also did this with a pillow (small personal one), blanket, sheet, towel, etc. Not only are they portable and protected, they store in less space.

Wheat can be cooked as is but most people will grind the wheat for flour. My favorite manual grain mill is the Wondermill Junior. Grinding flour is hard work, so you will probably prefer an electric mill, too. Wondermill and NutriMill both make very good electric mills in the lower $200 price range. I found my electric mill in a second hand store for about $30, so you might also start checking places like Goodwill and even online — Craigslist or eBay.

There’s going to be a fire risk in your bunker, and it could even be in the walls. Many professional companies use Expanded Polystyrme (EPS) foam blocks which, according to Clarence Mason of Tempest Building Systems, are highly flammable and full of toxic chemicals in an attempt to make it less flammable. They should, ideally, be encased with something that is not flammable, but because they’re used in part to reduce costs, you might be tempted not to.


You'll find staples like powdered butter, freeze-dried meats, cereals, grains, pasta, fruits and vegetables, and baking ingredients. They also offer a great selection of entrees, including popular Mountain House meals like turkey tetrazzini, rice pilaf, and sweet and sour pork. Many of these are included in their emergency kits that will keep you fed for days or months at a time.

With this method, you needn’t worry about where to get water to add and since your food is cooked in the caning process, you can even eat cold if necessary. Imagine a jar of pork in your favorite marinade sauce. Terriaki beef or chicken. Strips of flank steak marinated in A1 and a touch of hot sauce. Heat this up on a forman grill or charcoal grill. The menu is limited by ones imagination only. Much healthier than all the salt in canned or freeze dried food. They put in the salt only to insure they do not lose a penny in sales as a result of in mass production, a batch does not cook long enough, or a product sits on the shelf too many decades.


Gaye, I have worked for Green Giant for many years. It is their harvest season now. They have giant warehouses to in which to store their can goods for the next year. They have to get rid of last years cans, to make room for this year’s cans. Have you noticed that in the fall of the year, can fruits and vegetables go on sale. I’m not telling you to not buy them, but keep in mind that most of them are last years crops, and as such, are one year old when you buy them.

Today, Luther says she keeps a pantry with three different levels of “defense.” The first consists of boxes of cereal, frozen foods, and other items you might fall back on if you couldn’t make it to the grocery store for a week or two. The second, her “short-term” food storage, includes canned goods and other items with a longer shelf life — “Stuff you’d use if perhaps you lost a stream of income and times were tight for a few months,” Luther explains. The third is her long-term food storage: Mylar bags full of dry goods like beans, rice, and wheatberries, as well as some freeze-dried fruits, vegetables, and meat. Layer three, she says, is for “a situation in which all hell has broken loose.”

Personal hygiene is even more important in emergency situations than during everyday life. We have so many conveniences at our disposal in our society. Yet many people don’t realize the challenges when those conveniences are no longer available. Personal hygiene is really about keeping clean and avoiding unsanitary conditions that can lead to illness.
At a minimum, a good framing hammer, hand saw or hacksaw, medium prybar, axe, shovel, vise grips, screwdrivers, fixed blade general purpose knife, small mechanics kit with wrenches, can of all-purpose lube, sturdy cordage (paracord or accessory line) and duct tape. Ensure you have an adequate wrench or similar tool that can shut off water and gas valves in and around your home.
But if you stay, take note of the time. When the outage strikes, the clock is ticking on the food in your refrigerator and freezer. The USDA says food in a fridge will stay safely cold for four hours if the door isn't opened and a full freezer will maintain temperature for about 48 hours (if it's half full, that's 24 hours) as long as you keep the door closed. And don't rely on just looking — and certainly not on tasting — to see if the food's safe, they say. Instead, keep appliance thermometers in the fridge and freezer. You want to see 40 F or below in the fridge and 0°F or lower in the freezer. When in doubt, take individual foods' temperature with a food thermometer.
outisde of the local systems, all newer cell phones in the US should be Wireless Emergency Alerts capable (WEA). Check with your carrier to make sure that your phone is capable (there is some variance by carrier on some phone models.) Then make sure that the service is turned on in your phone settings. These alerts are sent by authorized agencies through a dedicated infrastructure, and there is no need to sign up. If you are in a Tsunami affected alert area, you will get the alert, and the phone does not stop the alert until you acknowledge it. It is important to keep your phone on and charged 24/7. If in the US, Warnings will also be broadcast by NOAA weather radio.
“If you’re using it for emergency survival, the fact is you’re going to buy it once, and hopefully you’re not going to use it,” Shields said. “But it’s there as a safety net for you and your family.” That’s what intrigued me about freeze-dried food: You can wait up to a quarter-century to use it, but in an ideal world, you wouldn’t have to eat it at all.
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