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.

How I Do Long Term Food Storage

How to Build Garage Shelving – Easy, Cheap and Fast!

As preppers we need sheving for our preps and here is a cheap and easy way build those even if you’re not a great carpenter…

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