Infographic Ten Things to Do Now!

Many of you will recognize this list of ten things to do now from reading my article – The Preppers Checklist – Ten Things to do Now, that a is a popular and useful checklist for new preppers, to get started (also see Ten More Things to Do Now), so I thought that I would bring it back albeit in a different form, to reach more readers and to hopefully get more people prepping.

Please help me spread the word by sharing this list with everyone you know via email,  or any social media outlets that you are active in. Also feel free to re-post this infographic list on your blog or website, as long as a credit is given via a link-back to this post.  Thank you for your help…

10 thing to do now - the preppers checklist

The Prepper’s Food Storage Checklist

Easy to Follow Food Storage List

food storage list for preppersWhen it comes to storing enough food to survive, unassisted and on your own for three six-months or a full year or even longer is the point where most new preppers get overwhelmed and some even give up altogether. And while I agree that storing and rotating such a large amount of food on a continuing basis can be a lot of work and takes dedication, it is by no means impossible, and if done right can even be enjoyable – just follow this food storage list.

But where do you start? You should start with the basics first wheat (or other grains, for those who have trouble digesting gluten), rice, beans, oats, corn, salt, honey, cooking oil and powdered milk.

Wheat

This is the backbone of your survival diet. Wheat is nature’s longest storing seed, with an indefinite shelf life given proper storage conditions. The wheat (and other grains) can also be sprouted, adding fresh greens to the diet even in winter.

Rice

Rice is my favorite storage foods and I actually prefer rice over wheat for storage, but that’s a personal decision, and well I like rice and rice dishes. White rice stores better and has a longer shelf-life than brown rice; however brown rice has more nutritional value. Despite the trade-off in storage duration, I still prefer brown rice for storage because of the added nutritional value.

Beans

Beans, corn and rice combined make a complete food, providing just about everything you need to survive. Add some fresh green sprouts or garden produce and extra vitamin C just to be sure you’re getting enough to avoid scurvy, and you’ll be well fed and healthy.

I like to store a combination of pinto beans, black beans, and mung beans. How much you store of each will depend on your personal preferences to taste.

Oats

Don’t go overboard when storing oats, about 20 pounds per adult per year is plenty. Oats have a storage life of approximately four to six years, depending on storage conditions and whether or not they have been opened after being packaged for long term storage.

Corn

Corn equals cornmeal, cornbread, cornmeal mush, corn cakes, and a huge list of other foods that you can prepare using the seed. I store whole corn because it stores much better and with at least double the shelf-like of cracked corn.

Salt

While not a food but a mineral, salt, is none the less essential to the diet and individual health. Salt is also used in the preservation of food and animal products. Salt, like wheat, has an indefinite shelf life. Store at least 10 pounds of iodized salt per person, per year.

It’s also a good idea to stock up on salt blocks to attract game animals for future harvesting. You can find these in the sporting goods stores and other outlets that sell to hunters. You can also get these through your local farmers co-op, where they sell them for domestic livestock supplementation.

Honey or Sugar

As a sweetener honey makes an unequaled contribution to the diet. Honey, like wheat and salt, has an indefinite self-life. Store at least 10 pounds per person. If the honey hardens and crystallizes, heat it slowly in a double boiler to reconstitute.

Cooking Oil

There is some controversy as to which is best for storage in the preppers pantry, vegetable oil or olive oil, while both will work fine and you should stock up on the one that you like best. I recommend putting away, 10 quarts, per person, per year.

Powdered Milk

Most people turn their nose at the thought of powdered milk, preferring whole milk from the supermarket shelf. Granted it does have a slightly different taste, but it’s not unpleasant to drink, and after a week or two it seems to “grow” on you. Studies have shown that nonfat powdered milk, when packaged (nitrogen-packed) and stored properly has a storage life of 20 years or more.

Stockpiling Hard To Store Foods

I prefer to buy those hard-to-store long-term items like powdered milk, dry margarine, butter powder, buttermilk powder, cheese powder, shortening, and powdered eggs prepackaged for long-term storage in #10 metal cans, from Augason Farms or other reputable survival food vendors.

Supermarket Canned Foods

food storage list for preppers canned foodsCanned foods from the supermarket have many advantages when it comes to food storage, they have a decent shelf-life on average of 2-5 years for most products, (note: shelf-life means that the foods retain 100% of their listed original nutritional value up until that point – store bought canned foods remain edible, far past the listed expiration dates in most cases).

As long as the cans aren’t bulging, rusted through or punctured and the foods smell fresh, upon opening then I would not hesitate to eat canned goods that are far past their listed expiration date. But that is a personal choice and one you’ll have to make yourself when the decision is needed.

Store bought canned foods have several advantages over freeze-dried or dehydrated foods, including cost and calories contained per serving. Another advantage is that canned foods already have their own water supply for preparation, so there is no need to use any potable water from your storage.

Despite the advantages of canned foods over freeze-dried and dehydrated foods, canned goods do have some disadvantages in comparison, like, weight, space needed for storage, and shelf-life.

I like to include a combination of the basic foods like wheat, rice, and beans, store bought canned foods and certain “packaged for long-term storage” foods that are hard to store like powdered milk from one of the reputable survival food vendors…

All canned foods should be dated using a permanent marker and rotated on a FIFO (first-in-first-out) basis. I suggest that you build a rotating canned food shelf that will automatically rotate your canned foods when added and pulled from the shelf.

Always keep a notepad beside the shelf or in your kitchen, and write down every item that you take from the shelf and then take the note with you on your next trip to the supermarket, and then buy and restock the items that you’ve taken from the shelf, that way you always have a fully stocked shelf and a fresh supply.

Don’t Forget the Can Opener:

Sure you could use a knife, but a manual can opener is easier and safer – so whatever else you do, don’t forget the can opener. Buy several or the strongest made ones that you can find.

Other Foods

After you get the basic foods listed above in the needed proportions (see below), it is a simple matter to add other foods as you get the extra money.

Canned meats: We all know that SPAM is the preppers go to for a cheap “meat” source that has a longer than average shelf-life, and fat content. Canned hams, tuna, salmon, chicken, and turkey are all welcome additions in my pantry shelf – stock-up on the meats that your family normally eat and date and rotate just as you would any other canned food.

White flour: White flour from the store has a much longer shelf-life than does whole wheat flour because it has been “processed” which removes the oily germ, but unfortunately this “processing also removes the nutrition.

Processed white flour has a shelf-life of over five years if kept dry and safe from pests (like the meal moth). Mill moths get into the flour, lay eggs and those eggs turn into flour weevils, which ruin the flour. Look for tiny dark specks in the flour, as this is the first sign that the flour has been infested.

If it clumps together because of settling, just break it apart and run it through a sifter before use.

Store flour for long-term storage in airtight containers, with oxygen absorbers, added – see details below. You can also freeze flour that has been put into five-gallon buckets. Freezing will also kill any meal moths that happen to have been trapped inside before they can do any damage to your flour.

Most of my “flour” is in the form of whole wheat berries, that I have to mill (grind) before use, but I do have some processed flour in my pantry, for lazy days when I don’t feel like grinding whole wheat into usable flour.

Peanut butter: Peanut butter is a good source of fat and calories and has a decent shelf-life. Peanut butter is also an energy food and one that I always take on hunting and camping trips. Unopened peanut butter will last for years.

Spices: Be sure to include a good selection on spices in your food storage. Spices can make even the most awkward foods palatable, and help to alleviate food boredom. Cinnamon, Turmeric, Paprika, Ginger, Oregano, and Garlic are my favorites and make up the bulk of the spices in my pantry.

Baking powder, baking soda, and yeast: Baking powder, baking soda, and yeast (keep yeast frozen to extend shelf-life) are also essential since you’re storing and baking using unprocessed grains.

Dried pasta: Dried pasta will keep indefinitely if kept dry in bug and rodent proof containers.

Comfort Foods:

Storing a sufficient amount of “comfort foods” is very important, to your psychological well-being as well as to alleviate “food-boredom” that is sure to set in after eating only storage foods for several months. Comfort foods are even more important if you have children or need to care for the elderly.

Consider comfort foods such as – Jell-O, instant pudding mix, cake mix, hard candies, chewing gum, Spaghettios, mac and cheese, brownie mix, canned spaghetti and meatballs, mashed potatoes, popcorn, cocoa, tea, coffee, powdered juice mixes, sunflower seeds etc. And remember to date and rotate on a FIFO basis.

We crave variety and having a supply of familiar comfort foods can go a long way toward retaining our sanity and self-worth during a long term disaster. You can only deny yourself for so long before desperation and depression start to set in. Life will be difficult enough – give yourself a treat. You deserve it.

It is a proven fact that if we are forced to eat foods we don’t want or the same foods for extended periods – just to stay alive – dissociation begins to set in. We begin to float away as an escape – we still eat to stay alive, but suffer a lack of focus and become disorientated in relation to our surroundings.

This is dangerous in a survival setting. Don’t think it can happen? Try eating nothing but beans and rice for three months and you’ll see what I mean. Having a supply of comfort foods can help by providing at least some form of normalcy to your life.

Older folks and children will have the hardest time adjusting to new or unfamiliar foods, with many refusing to eat altogether, especially if the food is unnecessarily bland or unappetizing. Comfort foods will help them cope.

Vitamins:

To ensure that you’re getting a sufficient amount of needed daily vitamins and minerals for optimum health, you need to stockpile a good multi-vitamin and mineral supplement. Also consider extra vitamin C and D. Vitamin D is of extra importance if you’re forced to stay inside (bugging in) for a longer than normal period of time and thus are unable to receive the needed vitamin D producing sunlight that is required for optimal health.

Don’t Forget about Your Pets:

Don’t forget to include a sufficient amount of food in your stockpile to feed your pets. A decent dog will increase your chances of survival because they can hunt and alert you to trespassers and other trouble. I prefer smaller dual-purpose breeds, with my choice for a working dog being the Jack Russell terrier.

A Sample Three Month Food Storage List for One Adult

  • Wheat 75 Pounds
  • Grains, rice, oats etc. 25 Pounds
  • Canned meats 5 Pounds
  • Canned margarine, powdered eggs etc. 2 Pounds
  • Dried beans, peas, lentils, etc., 6 Pounds
  • Dried fruit juice and concentrates 6 Pounds
  • Dried fruits or canned 25 Pound (if dried, then equal to this fresh weight
  • Comfort foods 3 Pounds
  • Non-fat dried milk 25 pounds
  • Peanut butter or substitute protein/fat source 3 pounds
  • Dried potatoes 12 pounds (equal to this fresh weight)
  • Salt 2 pounds
  • Shortening oils 3 quarts
  • Sugar or honey 12 pounds
  • Canned or dried vegetables 9 pounds (if dried, then equal to this fresh weight)

Please bear in mind that the above list is only a sample to help you get started, the most useful food storage list is the one that you put together yourself. After all who knows better than you, what you and your family, likes to eat and in what amounts.

Where to Put All this Food?

After reading the above recommendations, you’re probably asking yourself where in the heck, you’re going to store all of this food. Well, that’s a good question and one that you alone can answer for your situation better than anyone else, but I’ll make a few suggestions that I hope will point you in the right direction.

The absolute best place in an underground bunker, root cellar or basement, unfortunately, most people don’t have any of those and have to make due with other less ideal storage options… Consider a spare bedroom, attached garage, detached storage building on your property, or as a last-resort a nearby storage unit rental.

If at all possible put in an underground storage area of some sort to keep you storage foods safe (and you) safe from weather extremes, as well as the main enemy of your food-storage shelf-life; heat. An excellent option, and inexpensive when compared to other suitable alternatives is the buried shipping container.

How to Store Dried Beans and Grains at Home for Long-Term Storage with Oxygen Absorbers & Mylar Bags

I store all my grains, beans and other dry foods (besides sugar, salt or sprouting seeds) inside food-grade five-gallon plastic buckets. There is some controversy over what is and isn’t food grade. Most buckets with #2 inside a small triangle on the bottom are food grade, but not all – the only way to be reasonably certain is to contact the manufacturer and ask.

I buy mine from the local hardware store in the paint department. They also have them at my Wal-Mart, but, I prefer to buy from local business owners if possible. Sometimes they can even be gotten free from bakeries and restaurants, just be sure they only held food products – not paint, chemicals or other things that can make you sick or dead.

Foods packed in oxygen don’t store as well as those in an oxygen free atmosphere. Oxygen absorbers work by removing the air from the enclosed container, leaving an atmosphere of 99% pure nitrogen in a partial vacuum inside the buckets.

Don’t open the bag of oxygen absorbers until ready to use because they will absorb oxygen from the surrounding air and become useless. Have everything ready to go before you open the package. Any unused oxygen absorbers can be stored inside a small canning jar until needed.

Be sure to have everything ready to go before you start. Line the inside of the bucket with an appropriately sized Mylar bag these will help to keep light and moisture out extending the storage life of the foods inside.

The Mylar bag also offers a layer of protection between the food and the plastic bucket, if for some reason the bucket that you’re using isn’t considered food-grade.

Pour the food into the buckets a little at a time, shaking each bucket as it is being filled to settle and distribute the contents. Fill each bucket to about ½ inch from the top and throw in one 2000 cc oxygen absorber in each five-gallon bucket of food.

Now to seal the Mylar bag – first roll the top of the bag closed on one end leaving an opening at the other and press out any air that has been trapped inside, next place a 2×4 across the top of the bucket and pull the Mylar bag over the 2×4 and seal with a clothing iron set at the highest setting in a typical ironing fashion across the board.

Quickly put the lids on each bucket and pound shut by laying the board across the top and striking with a hammer or rubber mallet. After a few hours, the absorbers will create a vacuum that will cause the lids on the buckets to “pop down” indicating a good seal and a proper atmosphere for long term storage. Be sure to label each with date, content, and weight, written on the front with a permanent marker.

Useful Resources and How-To Articles

Copyright Information: Copyright TheSurvivalistBlog.net and M.D. Creekmore. This content may be freely reproduced in full or in part in digital form with full attribution to the author and a link to www.thesurvivalistblog.net. Please contact M.D. Creekmore for permission to reproduce this content in other media formats.

If you think you can live without coffee after SHTF, think again!

If you think you can live without coffee after SHTF, think again!

Hello, Wolf Pack! My name is Liz, and I’d like to share with you why I think that coffee is so important in a survival scenario. I created this quick visual guide outlining some of the reasons why I think you should take a serious look at how much coffee you have in long-term storage. If you haven’t taken this particular resource seriously in the past, I hope you will reconsider. It could be a great asset when times are at their most difficult. As with many other topics discussed here on The Survivalist Blog, just a little bit of effort in preparation now could make a world of difference in an uncertain future.

When I’m not prepping, I spend most of my free time raising my three kids and taking care of our home. I also like to write about coffee on my blog over at CharmCoffee.com. I was doing some research for my site, which got me thinking about this whole topic. This kind of subject matter might be controversial among members of my ‘mainstream’ audience, so I thought that it would be better served being shared here among a like-minded crowd.

My husband and I are proud members of the preparedness community, and recently while we were conducting an inventory of our long term food storage, we got into a bit of a disagreement about whether or not coffee was a necessary resource in our prep.

My husband is a casual coffee drinker but he insisted that he would be just fine without it if SHTF and we lost our access to the outside world. While I agree that technically things like clean water and basic foodstuffs are more important to short-term survival, the value of coffee to long-term morale was something that he should reconsider.

In addition to the morale-boosting benefits, I believe that the value of coffee as a commodity should not be underestimated. If we were to face an economic collapse, which I believe is becoming more and more likely with our astronomical national debt, the value of this resource would skyrocket. The coffee bean itself cannot be grown throughout the majority of the United States, due to climate, so supply would be limited to that which smart preppers like ourselves would have stored. The barter value would be immense, even with simple freeze-dried instant coffee (which is actually the easiest to store long term).

I have been following The Survivalist Blog for some time now, and I think it’s one of the best resources anywhere in terms of helping regular people plan for future uncertainty. It seemed like the perfect place for me to share my findings, and I am very grateful for the opportunity to do so. I would like to thank M.D. Creekmore for the amount of hard work and time that he puts into this resource, and I am honored to have the privilege of contributing to it here today.

Stay Safe,

Keeping It Real Simple… Bread Making for “Dummies” or Those Who Are Kitchen Challenged

cooking bread by Christine

Bread making experts can tell you all about making bread… The do’s, the don’ts and all the chemistry and nutrition factors involved. But let’s face it – some days you just want/need to learn a new skill that is quick, easy, inexpensive and satisfying to the mouth, the soul and the pocketbook.

Cast Iron Bread Making is one such skill. …and what is really great is that it is a skill that can and should be practiced and enjoyed now.

Here’s what I like about my recipe:

  • It’s easy
  • It tastes good
  • It’s flexible
  • It requires no kneading
  • It’s cheap to make
  • It saves on yeast (good if you are limited in how much you have or while you wait for a sourdough culture to form)
  • The finished product adds nutrition, diversity, and fiber to a diet
  • Good homemade bread is a great barter item

The “Down and Dirty” Recipe:

Grind 3 cups of wheat and then grind it again until it is very fine.

Put the finely ground wheat into a small plastic food grade bucket with a lid and add 1 tsp. of yeast and 1 ½ tsp. of salt. Mix up these three ingredients well and then add 1 1/3 cups of water (or whey if you make cheese and have a dairy goat/cow) combined with 2 Tbs. of honey, maple syrup, molasses or sorghum. Stir up the mixture until you have a wet mess of sticky dough and then cover it and let it sit for 18-24 hours.

When you open the bucket you will see that the dough has risen and appears a bit frothy. Scrape it out onto a floured counter and quickly shape it into a round ball by tucking the ends under it – add just enough flour to maintain its shape. Place the dough ball on a floured cloth towel and cover the ball completely with the towel. I flour the towel with coarse ground wheat as we like a dark, coarse, chewy crust.

Stick the towel covered dough in a glass bowl and let the bread rise again for 4 hours (or more based on room temperature). Turn your oven (or gas grill) on and set it at 450 degrees. (You can also dig a hole and build a charcoal/wood fire nearby and place coals below the pot and on top of the lid – this takes more skill and practice but is doable.) Place your seasoned cast iron pot with lid in the oven and let the oven and pan heat up for a half hour.

After the half hour is up, carefully remove pan from the oven and quickly place the dough ball in the pan. Cover it quickly with the heated lid and then put it back in the oven for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes remove the lid and bake for another 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let the bread sit until cool.

That’s it. You can adjust the recipe by adding more sweetener, dried fruits, spices, different kinds of flour, seeds, nuts, herbs, cheese, etc. Bread is a staple that can be used in many meals and adds food diversity and calories. It is filling and in times of stress acts as comfort food for many of us. Make a sandwich, a bread bowl for soup/beans, a pizza, croutons, a meat pocket, etc.

Have a nice day

Do you want to save money and eat healthy… then sprout grains for food

by Keith

In the past I have been accused of pinching a penny so tightly that Lincoln would scream in agony! This months contribution in effect shows that.

I recently had to “re-home” a pig, after completing a move to a new location and we couldn’t take Ethel with us. The deal was made for the pig. The people who got her started asking about T-post, fencing, leftover feed, and the like. I pointed out they made a deal for THE PIG, not the the pig and all the trappings!

Focusing on the feed, I feed Ethel a blend of grains and scraps. After she left I had about 40 pounds of mixed grains left. What to do with it? I decided that I would do several things, first I sifted and sorted wheat, rye, and barley and planted small patches in the back yard. I’ve found that I can get about 70 fold on those grains when harvested the following spring.

In my standard raised beds I get enough grain for several loaves of bread. Also, the plants make a nice cover crop to keep erosion in check. However, I discovered once again that all the critters think I’ve made them an all that can be eaten buffet. Next month I’ll go over garden protection techniques.

Then I took another quantity on grain, to sprout. The easiest thing is a jar, place the grain in it, pour water in, let the water soak the seeds then pour it off. Cover with a cloth and put in a fairly warm dark place. Once or twice each day repeat this until you have sprouts as long as you want. I stop at about a quarter of an inch.

Next, I place my sprouts on a pan and dry them, either in the oven or on a heated surface at low heat. Once dried I can now grind or reduce the sprouted grains to a thick flour. I have used stone mortar and pedestals, wood ones, coffee grinders, and a Nutri bullet, so there are plenty of options, use what you have, can make, or procure. No need to run out and spend a lot of cash.

The bread that can made like this is far better than anything in a chain store. And various other seeds can be added to the mix. It seems that sprouting the grains improves the nutrition of the food. Or at least it becomes more nutrient solvable. Which is good for all of us!

A portion of the flour can be set aside for a sourdough starter. And fed a couple of times a week. However, it may be best to heat/ cook the flour in water before adding to the starter. Heat turns the starches to sugars and in turn benefits the starter. Sprouted pea, beans, and other vegetable seeds can be mixed to the flour for more nutrition trace elements and add flavors.

The breads I’ve made using these thoughts have been thick heavy and very filling artisan breads. A bowl sized loaf makes a great soup / stew bowl and it will last you a long time!

A note here at the end, the water that is poured off the grain during sprouting seems to have great rooting characteristics! So pour that water on any cuttings you are trying to root. I know it’s great on grape cuttings! So till next month!

Sprouted Grains Basics

Are Sprouted Grains Really Healthy?

M.D. Adds : Most fresh sprouts are pretty good, when ground up and added to flour and baked into bread. I like Mung bean and Alfalfa sprouts the best but, each persons tastes are different. There is a chapter in my book “31 Days to Survival” about sprouting, that covers the basics, I also recommend the “The Sprouting Book: How to Grow and Use Sprouts to Maximize Your Health and Vitality“.

Long Term Food Storage: Bulk Buying Tips For Frugal Budgets!

Low Cost Food Storage Ideas for New Preppers. Here’s How To Do It Yourself and Save!.

by Ben W

squirrel-20980_640In today’s economic climate, finances are a major concern for everyone, but doubly so for the prepper or survivalist. Not only are we trying to maintain a semblance of normalcy in our everyday lives, we are also attempting to put together a “kit” for another lifestyle altogether, a kit that will keep us alive when everything falls apart.

Generally, the first items purchased by a prepper are foodstuffs, and these preps can be made slowly and relatively inexpensively, over a long period of time, or one can bite the bullet and spend a fortune to “prep” quickly, and in today’s socio-economic climate, quickly is the byword.

This usually involves purchasing ready made and assembled food packs from some company offering a 5-gallon survival pail sufficient to feed you for anywhere from 3 weeks to six months, or by buying surplus MRE’s. Both of these are good options, but you are paying for convenience and there is a better and much less expensive option.

Having been a long time prepper, 25+ years, I was into long term food storage at a time when options were few: Foods packaged for campers, vey expensive, and MRE’s, always surplus and also fairly expensive.

I took it upon myself to put together my own food pails, stocked with items I and my family would eat, and to this day, many of the stored items appear to be store fresh! Before I go on, I want to assure you that there will be many negative comments on the methods I have been using and which I am proposing. There will be flak about the nutrients being gone & spoilage, among other things. I cannot speak to the nutritive value of the items stored, but I can say they look and taste good, show no signs of spoilage. And this after 20 years in some cases!

I started my food storage program with three and five-gallon food grade buckets which I obtained from a bakery at a local market. These came with lids with a heavy rubber gasket. The buckets were taken home and washed thoroughly with soap and hot water. They were then dried, and the interior surfaces of the bucket, the lid and the sealing gasket were all wiped down with bleach. I then placed an unscented trash bag into the bucket, and I used one of two methods to purge the air/oxygen from the pail: Method #1, I dropped a piece of dry ice into the bag and then placed the items I was storing into the bucket.

Most were left in their store packages, some items were repacked, such as bulk beans, rice and flour. These were placed into separate plastic bags and given their own small piece of dry ice. I added items until the pail was full, and then I lightly twisted the outer plastic bag closed. In a few minutes, the bag would swell, indicating that the CO2 being produced by the dry ice was filling the bag. The air/oxygen had been displaced. At this point, I twisted the bag shut tightly, wired it closed and placed the lid on the bucket and locked it down. I did not use any oxygen absorbers or desiccants. Method #2, was to set the pail up as indicated, and instead of dry ice, I used nitrogen from a commercial tank to purge the air/oxygen from the bags.

In addition to bulk items, the pails might also contain pasta, commercials mac/cheese, or any number of items packed in cardboard and plastic. A hose ran from the tank to the bottom of the bag, and when the bag swelled the hose was removed and the bag sealed. Once sealed, these pails were labeled and dated and kept, at various times, in my workshop, garage, storage shed, and ultimately, in a cargo container that was “roofed over” for shade. All these environments were fairly stable temp and moisture wise.

To test the efficiency of this system, I opened some of these buckets that had been sealed many years ago. In none of the contents did I find spoilage or weevils, not in the flour, corn meal or other grains. I did have weevils in ALL of the grain products that were stored in sealed buckets that had not been purged. Canned items appeared to be ok, no swelling or rusting, but due to the ages of these items, I am leery of using them and will replace them. I should have been rotating them, but the items were in sealed pails that I was reluctant to open, so it’s my loss.

As they say about the pudding: My grandkids were visiting and wanted mac/cheese and we were out, stores closed. I opened a storage pail and removed two boxes of commercial mac/cheese, it cooked up great and there were no ill effects, none, other than “Any left?” My wife and I have regularly used various cereals from storage, such as wheat & oatmeal and they are good also. The sugars and honey I store will last forever, and I don’t think they lose their nutritional value.

It appears that my storage system works well, but to address the nutrition issue, I also store multivitamins, and while I don’t really see a need for them, it can’t hurt. A quick note on dry beans: I have heard that after a few years of storage they become non-palatable, even after cooking. They stay hard and impossible to chew. The remedy for this is to place the cooked beans in a pressure cooker for a few minutes after cooking to soften them up, and they will be as good as fresh.

As for water, more valuable and necessary than food, I have filters and tablets, but I use a homegrown system for storage. As my wife uses bleach, she gives me the empty plastic bottles. They are filled with water without being washed out, and are stored as is. I have drunk water as old as 20 years….no odor or algae, and while flat, shaking to aerate took care of the problem. This water was from a home well, and was not treated in any way before being stored, and I suppose city water, treated, could be stored the same way. The bleach bottles are stored alongside the food pails, and I have had no issues with the plastic bottles degrading or becoming brittle.

On a final note, I use food grade pails for storing my matches and lighters, lantern mantles, and other items which might be moisture sensitive. A desiccant is added, but the pails are not purged. And for soaps, shampoos, scented candles or other items which “smell,” a food grade bucket is ideal for avoiding contamination via “osmosis.” I store these pails in the same area as my foods, and have found no contamination present.

This article deals with preps that I have made over the years, and most were done “on the cheap,” but they have served me and mine well. And while I realize there are commercial alternatives available for long term storage of food and other items, I find “rolling my own” and saving forty to sixty dollars to be much more fun.

Food Prepping

BBB (Beef,Bacon and Beans)

Recipe provided by Backwoods Prepper

I would like to share this recipe with the pack.

BBB (Beef,Bacon and Beans)

  • 1 14.5oz can of Keystone beef or a quart jar of canned deer meat (what I use)
  • 1 28oz can of your favorite baked beans
  • 6 slices of bacon fried the way u like it. Crisp is best for this recipe
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1 tablespoon of brown sugar. or make your own white sugar and molasses.
  • 1 teaspoon mustard

dash of salt

Combine all ingredients in a cast iron pot for best taste or any pot will do. bring to a boil turn down on low simmer for 20 to 30 min covered. cut heat let stand covered about 10 minutes and serve. serves 4. we make cornbread muffins to go with ours but any bread you like will do. Hope you guys like it, we do very hearty. Never stop prepping.

PREPAREDNESS TIP: COCONUT OIL

by Andrew Skousen – www.worldaffairsbrief.com

Finding fats and oils that will store well can be a difficult and expensive part of building up food storage. As I noted in last week’s tip, most of the cheap vegetable oils on the market now are not healthy in the long term and should be avoided, including corn, soy, and canola oils. Not only are these cheaper oils less healthy to the unstable fats in them, they are usually extracted using high pressure, high heat and chemical treatments that draw out a larger percentage of the oil resulting in damaged, unhealthy oils. Fortunately, there are still excellent quality oils out there.

Coconut oil is one of the most valuable oils now and in hard times. Tropical oils like this are very high in saturated fats and become stiff like butter below 76 deg. F. The saturated fats withstand the heat of cooking well and resist becoming rancid, particularly if water and contaminants are kept out and it is stored in cool, dark conditions. Some say coconut oil will last indefinitely this way.

Coconut oil is very versatile for replacing other fats and oil. It handles the heat of sauteeing and frying well, substitutes for butter or shortening in crusts and baked goods, is tasty in dressing and mayonnaise, solidifies well for fudge and homemade chocolate and satisfies appetites in hot soups while balancing out sugar in recipes like hot cocoa.

Coconut oil also has many other uses. Just rub a little on for skin lotion, lip balm, diaper cream, or hair product. Its gentle antifungal, antimicrobial, and antibacterial properties make it useful in healing too. Here are just 13 uses including healing wounds, particularly burns, soothing digestion problems and replacing a key nutrient for the brain to reduce Alzheimer’s.

Transitioning to coconut oil can take a little time. The best qualities are in the virgin, unrefined oil that still has a mild smell and taste of coconut—which some people don’t like in everything. In that case get some of the expeller pressed oil that has no taste or smell. When we started using it we kept a jar of each nearby. We didn’t mind the coconut flavor in dishes like stir fry or muffins. Gradually we have gotten used to the flavor and use it much more widely now.

Beware of the cheaper coconut oils. These are usually processed with modern methods including chemical bleaching and don’t have all the beneficial properties listed above. Tropical Traditions and Nutiva are both good brands, but Tropical Tradition’s virgin coconut oil extracted using the time-honored fermentation method is the best product out there. It is twice the price, but no other oil is made the same way and the cost supports true small-farms in the Philippines.

Most tropical oils (coconut and palm) come from Asia so you will have to stockpile it before war shuts off the trade routes that bring it over. While you are at it stockpile other key foreign products like cinnamon, cocoa and carob powders—in sealed Mylar bags to preserve freshness and flavor. Switch over now to healthier fats and then begin stockpiling these precious foods.

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