Questions and Answers With The Wolf Pack

Food Storage Question from Docj
I am at a point of fine tuning the pantry supplies.  Part 1: I have enough food to last a season and seeds to plant for resupplying the pantry.  Told my DD we need to think about items to cover the next 5 years that cannot be replaced by gardening.  I came up with a short list for me: sugar, rice, coffee.  What items would you add to the list for long term storage?  I plan to make a list from your ideas.
Part 2:  What hardware would you keep in bins for building projects?  I know I need to increase nails, screws, and bolts of different sizes.  I have hand planes, but I do not have manual drills, etc.  Would one of you woodworkers give me some ideas of toys that do not require electricity.  I have a lot of electrical equipment in my shop, but in worst case scenario I would be hard pressed to continue working with wood.
Thanks for brainstorming with me.  Hope this question gets others to thinking long term shutdown of society.


  1. Babycatcher says:

    On part 1: canned fruit. There are some years that fruit trees will take a rest, and won’t produce normally. Pears often do a three year rotation- bumper crop one year, sparse the next, nothing the next year then another bumper. That’s one of the reasons it’s important to have trees of several varieties, to make up the difference. Some years there will be swarms of squirrels that will strip your fruit trees of everything before it can mature. Killing them is the only sane answer I can come up with, since I have had this problem for 10 years running, and only now getting a decent harvest.
    Part 2: haunt the local estate sales and see if you can find these items: brace and bits( of various sizes) for drilling holes, hand drill for small holes, jack planes, block planes, chisels of various sizes to cut mortises and tenons, sanding blocks, wooden workbench( these are hard to find and usually expensive, but so worth it!); nuts, bolts, carriage bolts, screw drivers and nut drivers; hand saws with teeth in various teeth per inch, rip saws, back saw, Japanese saws, and I know I’m leaving out finishing products and tools. My hubby and I inherited both his dads and grandfathers tools, and we are both woodworkers in our own right. A good general list of tools to have would be Roy Underhill’s books, The Woodwright Series….you can find them on Amazon or bestwebbuys . He has many antique tools that he uses daily on his shows. Best blessings on your hunt…

    • What baby catcher said,but I would say,don’t throw anything away that is metal,or can be repurposed into something down the road. Busted water heater and a freezer that stopped working can be turn into a solar water heater with little effort. High wheel lawnmower with bad engine can be used to haul a 5 gallon bucket of water,once the engine is removed. You can never have to many fasteners,,,never.

    • Thank you. Nice list.

    • Have to add a big huge ++++ to the estate and yard sales. All those great guys from my dads generation knew how to save things. I hit the sales and you can pick up lots of old but still very solid hand tools made to last, buckets and buckets of screws, nails etc for pennies!! Went to one last year that had over a THOUSAND canning jars and were selling them for $1 a dozen , hauled away 12 dozen as that was all I really could handle at the time.

  2. Unless you’re raising bees I’d add honey to your list… keeps forever. I’d also put in some tuna or other canned fish; it also has a long storage life. Tool wise your best bet is to go to garage sales; I’ve picked up a lot of hand braces and drill bits, chisels, drawing knives, and all sorts of old hand powered wood working tools.

    • On the sweetener side of things, along with bees, equipment for extracting maple sap for syrup if you have the trees around. Although sugar maple are best, the entire maple family including box elder will work. Also seeds for sugar beets, which can be processed by hand for sugar.

  3. You list coffee ,rice and sugar.. to that i would add salt,tea, chocolate. Is your garden large enough for grains and dry beans ?Do you have livestock? if not then meats,eggs and milk.Oils are ever a problem so i have my own press. I also buy spices in bulk.Think of all the things you use but don’t produce .
    Brace and bits include bits that are screw and nut drivers. Lots o sand paper. Chisels , awls, 33degree hand files and saw set to resharpen your handsaws and powder glue . I’m sure others will add to both list.

    • Thanks on canned fish. I do not eat meat of any kind or eggs for health reasons, but I need to add for family members who do. Have a lot of hens and youngsters coming on. Will soon be selling eggs at 2 businesses in town.

    • Have access to my land and the neighbors land and have the seed, but also have big deer and coon problem. Can’t afford that much high fencing so it looks like a solar powered electric fence is on my list.

      • Salt licks for deer will be ok to use post shtf 😉 . Of course salt for yourself enough for preserving and its the main way people get iodine to avoid goiters. A bottle of food grade iodine and a dropper, never expires. Big bottles of cheap iodine to used for cuts. Extra work gloves and protective equipment

        Extra grains as they will be hard to grow/harvest, and a mill to grind them. Fat is the one problem for storage as its difficult to last for a long time without going rancid. Traps that catch animals alive can help you get some fat for little output. Purslane has the most omega 3 fats in the plant world,100 grams of fresh purslane leaves provide about 350 mg Omega 3 fats. If you don’t grow quinoa try to so you can get it adapted to your environment, it has its own insect repellent that you have to wash off before eating(wash till no more soapy stuff comes off), it has 14% protein and it a complete protein, leave can be eaten like spinach. Goji berries have lots of antioxidants, good disease resistance and few people recognize them.

        • Steve,
          For salt we try to keep 1000+ pounds for the water softener, which we could stop using post SHF. For Iodine, kelp tablets from the health food store contain iodine. A quick search shows that the standard amount of iodine recommended for the general population is 150 mcg for teens and adults and 90 to 120 mcg for children. Most adults should not consume more than 1,100 mcg, or 1.1 mg, each day. For children, the maximum amount is 200 mcg for toddlers, 300 mcg for children 4 to 8, 600 mcg for ages 9 to 13 and 900 mcg for teens.
          I agree on the oils being the hardest, since they don’t keep well long term. In this case, it may mean going back to animal oils like chicken grease, and lard (bacon grease). In the past, a single hog could provide enough fats for a family, for most of a year.

          • Ohio Prepper: Wow, I wont go into just how far off your Iodine advice might be. Much research has been done over the last 50 yrs on iodine. Most has been blocked from main AMA journals, as they are owned/published by big Pharma. I believe it is the same old story: There isn’t a buck in it for the AMA and the big Pharma companies, as iodine is a naturally occurring element that they cant patent, but is depleted in our soils and diets. It is a MAJOR issue with mental retardation, cretenism and other brain functions in the young (our future), many cancers and pre-cancers are affected by it, along with a host of other problems we are seeing in our society today.
            The 150 mcg amount given is the suggested amount from the fda & endocrinologists for thyroid use only and from what I understand nobody has ever done any “whole body” requirement research. Every cell in your body needs iodine, not just the thyroid, and pushing forward the establishments numbers does everyone a dis-service & much more information is available for those who chose to look for it, and it covers a whole lot more than goiter. A good place to begin might be looking at work by Dr. Guy Abraham, Dr. David Brownstein, Dr. Jorge Flechas, and also Dr. Sherry Tenpenny. All have work on YouTube except Abraham, who is now passed away, but was the one pioneering the drive for iodine research. Huge amount of info available for those who look.
            Personally, I am on 50mg (not mcg) per day which is 33332 times the “RDA” with general changes in my own case. I am not taking it for any specific problem although Dr. tells me I lean towards some thyroid issues, just after researching, I felt I needed to increase my intake & cleared it thru my personal physician.

      • How could I forget vit D that will be hard to get, and many don’t get enough now even with enrichment. “A fresh shiitake boasts about 100 IU of vitamin D per gram, but if you dry it in the sun, it creates 10,000 IU. If you dry it upside down in the sun and let the gills absorb the sun, a gram will provide 20,000 IU. The mushrooms are so full of D, in fact, it’s important not to eat too many dried shiitakes, as vitamin D overdose can occur with chronic consumption of 40,000 IU of vitamin D per day” You can inoculate stacked logs with spore paste sealed in with wax and have the shrooms growing every year for no work other than verifying them with a shroom book

        Also while not fitting into your categories, I am impressed by these reusable glow in the dark lights that are basically permanent night lights that you can use to save candles get the 8-10 man tent one.

      • Sorry about the grammar and spelling errors had a long day yesterday and posted that before bed.

    • Although sugar is a no-no for many, there will be times you need a treat of some sort that can be made with sugar. Or, to trade. Brown sugar can either be bought as is or simply add some molasses to white sugar – store molasses for this. Brown is nicer for baking. All sugars can be stored in tight lidded food grade buckets, no o2 absorbers (they’ll turn sugar into stone). I also stock honey and water bath maple syrup in canning jars. And I buy raw beeswax to make salves.
      To expand on salt, stock both Himalayan salt (for adding to meals- more minerals, etc) plus coarse pickling salt for boiling things and curing meats. The average ham needs about 10 lbs coarse salt to cure, and a bit of sugar is needed to also kill off another specific bacteria which I can’t remember the name of. Trade in salt is also useful.
      If you bake, stock plenty of baking soda and cream of tartar to create baking powder. Kept separated, they’ll last forever. Mix them together and your best shelf life is about 2 years. As needed, blend 1 part baking soda to 2 parts cream of tartar (get this at bulk stores and price shop as some stores are rip-offs). Baking soda is also a key cleaning ingredient.
      If you prefer commercial dish soaps, stock lots because sanitation is crucial. If you make laundry soap, buy and stock plenty of bars of your favourite brand (it’s amazing how they shrink over time in manufacturing), along with washing soda and borax. I add powdered OxyClean to mine so I’ve stocked that as well.
      Stock your favourite spices, preferable in vacuum sealed jars if you have a home sealer. Cayenne is especially useful to treat wounds and various health problems. Cinnamon is another very popular spice. And who can live without black pepper? Buy whole Tellicherry peppers and invest in a good grinder. The fresher flavor is well worth it.
      Dehydrated onions, potato flakes (not pearls), carrots, garlic, celery and apple slices will really round out your supplies and recipes. I suggest potato flakes because potato blight sometimes hits various areas that got cool, wet springs and if you count on your own potatoes, you might get a shock one year.
      And definitely stock up on canning jars and lids to keep your foodstuffs. I just learned that lid manufacturers are changing the lid linings and ‘rubber’ to one time use that you use cold (meaning, you can’t warm them up like in the past before sealing).

  4. sugar CAN be replaced, though its a lot of work and depends on where you live. if your in a temperate climate and have access to maple trees (sugar maple is best, then red, silver, and norway, you can also use box elder maple) you can tap them for sugar rich sap and boil it down to syrup and further refine it into cake sugar (hard cakes of sugar). you can also use beets to make sugar but i don’t know how well it works. 30 buckets in the spring usually gets me about 3 or 4 gallons of syrup. so i suggest learning local trees and getting some info on sugaring. its cheap and easy to buy sugar now but making it at home can be done. i suggest salt to store, as its very hard to get in nature.

    as for construction hardware i never thought about it. i built my barn, woodshed and outbuildings with little more than a hand saw and an ax (cutting ash and elm trees that were straight and 4″ wide for poles 20 feet long, notching them to fit in place and covering with scavanged metal roofing, walls are like wiccer baskets made from the smaller branches i trimmed off, the same construction methods can be adapted to many applications). i reccomend nails at the very least, i hardly use screws and don’t own a power drill. you can make a spoon bit drill with a hand pump and flywheel, they work. but a good brace type drill with an adaptor can take standard modern bits and drill bits. i also collect heavy wire, banded steel, and rebar when i find it, any assorted metal scrap and have a building just for storing it, same building has my anvil and hammers and some barrels of charcoal. i addressed the same questions you asked, my answer was to learn how to get the most out of any resource, and study and practice the basics of manufacture. the only tool i would miss is my chainsaw, i am trained in small engine repair, but if i ran out of fuel or oil i would have to rely on my hand saws and ax, so i learned how to make a buck saw and forge an ax head.

  5. woodworking tools that don’t require electricity: hand saws, hammers, hand files (to sharpen that plane), sanding block, sandpaper, wood glue, various size clamps, extra wood. Look in pawn shops for an old-fashioned hand-drill; I found a good one for $5. Might want to add stain, polyurthane, & paint, & something to prevent & kill termites.
    Get extra hand tools to barter.

  6. Nebraska Woman says:

    Treadle sewing machine and needles with good strong thread (also unwaxed dental floss) will be useful…I use a lot of denim in my everyday wardrobe so I never give away blue jeans. Get the good denim, not the polyester blends. Scissors and a good sewing kit. I use moth balls when storing fabric; yucky but necessary.
    I added tea to my essentials. I also have a good grinder/miller to process wheat I buy from EE. Start sourdough; wtshtf yeast probably won’t be available for bread .I have a great assortment of garden tools that do not need electricity including a hand tiller a neighbor was throwing out.
    I also bought out Dollar General’s supply of mice traps.
    I keep lots of vinegar. I found out the hard way that bleach will eat through the plastic jugs so I transfer mine to glass containers.
    Hope this helps!
    My prepper friend gave me a tip: go through your daily life for one week each season and write down everything you do in a day and what you use. Buy accordingly.

    • I need to get my treadle machine into a cabinet and set up. This is an ASAP job. Thanks for the reminder.

  7. Food- Beans-beans-beans-they are cheap protein rich and easily stored. Canned meats, Spam is not what everyone pictures when they think gourmet meal but go with only getting meat a couple times a week and it looks pretty good. Flour or the ability to grind wheat into flour. Oil vegtable oil is cheap keeps for a good long while and without oil in the diet you will experiance all kinds of illness especially gall bladder related.
    Tools- a few good hand saws for timber and precut milled lumber, and good axe and all the fasteners you can store. Another thing I just thought of is a few gallons of water sealer if you need to build something from wood you need to protect it from the elements.

    • Water sealer: a very good idea. As a vegan, you know I have put back a lot of beans. Bought 2 pounds of 4 types of beans today for planting next year. Am keeping them separate of the supplies in food saver bags and buckets.

  8. grandma bear says:

    Wow this really makes you think! For me it is coffee and tea. Sugar and flour, grains. Our life would be totally different if we had to live off the stores for more than one year. I suspect it would be a more protein diet. Lets face it most of us can only put up so much and grow a veggie garden and have a few fruit trees. We do what we can and enjoy the moment. As I have said on many posts you cannot buy time.

    Remember we are all in this together. Have a great week!

    • I found seasoned diced tomatoes in 15 oz cans for 68 cents a can. The garden was too wet to be produce this summer so I started buying the canned tomatoes. I have passed the 130 cans so far. Also found some canned veggies for soup; a mix put out by VegAll. The garden is not always productive as you said. I want to do the same type of buying for unsweatened applesauce. Not into much in canned fruit except for the applesauce and crushed pineapple. I have a sugar free, egg free, oil free cake I make with the crushed pineapple. Takes care of my sweet tooth.

  9. If it possible in your area sorghum to replace the sugar, also you can replace your coffee with chicory or add it to the coffee to make it stretch. Like the others have said pawn shops , and flea markets ( don’t bring the fleas home , leave them there. ) :] Oh you can also roast & grind acorns for coffee as-well.

  10. Might want to consider some tools to harvest trees to make lumber. Felling axes, one and two man crosscut saws for both soft and hardwoods (they have different tooth designs), timberjacks, bark spuds, peaveys, log carriers, skidding tongs, log hooks and such.

    And don’t forget the stones, files and other items to keep them sharp.

  11. Docj
    On the tools, you will have to check with those who have the time and expertise in that department to advise you.
    Food storage:
    Canning jars all sizes, and Tattler lids with rubber rings, and extra of those as back up.
    Buckets of different types of salt, you can use for the smoke house you will need for the processing of meat.
    Molasses mixed with the sugar for making brown sugar. Jugs of pure maple syrup from Costco on a rotation bases. I have 4-6 in storage rotation all the time.
    WWII canning books that were produced for the food shortages they had then, great resource information.
    Wheat berries of soft, hard variates in Mylar bags sealed for breads, dent corn for corn bread etc.
    DE=diatomaceous earth, make sure it is *food grade* for grains that can be invaded by bugs, actually any food that is open weevils like. This DE can also be used as a bug invasion deterrent by sprinkling it around the walls of your home, or other building to keep them from invading, store in food grade buckets.
    The reason for the notation on the DE, there is [food grade DE] and a {swimming pool DE}. Do NOT use the DE for pools in your food, might be alright around the base of the home, but I would not use it if you have critters running around scratching up the earth for bugs.
    I know I have other hints, but time to feed the girls in the pasture.

    • Comment on WWII canning books – be sure and use the updated canning information that is available for times and temps. No need to make yourself sick!

    • Add cookbooks printed during war time. I have a collection going back to the Civil War. World War II cookbooks are easier and cheaper to buy. Try Ebay.

  12. Oat groats, wheat, corn, and pasta will all last many years if stored properly in Mylar bags with O2 absorbers. Cocoa, salt, honey, and hot sauces will last longer than I will. (!) Green coffee beans will last longer than roasted ones…..

    • Other grains also: barley, couscous, quinoa
      Dehydrated fruits and veggies for the off year when the garden doesn’t produce well.
      “Treat” type foods that serve a purpose – pudding (calcium), Fig Newtons (laxative).
      Seeds for sprouting – vitamin C

    • Goatlover, I buy macaroni and rotini, but have the wheat, grinder, and pasta maker for spaghetti. I do not have enough storage space for all the rolled oats I eat!! Been cleaning and reorganizing and saw a shortage of cocoa and chocolate. Not good.

    • I understand green coffee beans will stay fresh 3 years, roasted coffee beans 3 months and ground roasted beans 3 days.

      • Had the idea to buy green coffee beans and roast them myself. Problem is they are practically the same price as ground and roasted already. Does anyone know where cheap green coffee beans can be bought. Been buying the vacume packed lbs of coffee to put away.
        One thing to add lots and lots of cordage. You can lash about anything together with patience and a few knots.

        • sweet maria’s has green coffee at what i consider a good price. the more you buy of any bean, the price drops. but i guess that all depends of what kind of coffee you buy. coffee is my weakness—i like the good stuff!

          another idea is to buy dark roasts such as expresso beans. grind them fine and use half the amount for brewing a regular pot. this stretches the one pound purchase to twice as much brewed coffee.

  13. Spam, Vienna sausage (pretty much the same stuff as what’s in hot dogs), tuna.

    Ramen noodles. We have hundreds of these packets. They cost .10 to .15 each, they’re tasty, AND they’re loaded with necessary salt.

    I advise everyone to get some Kool-Aid type powdered water flavoring. You can buy this in individual servings all the way up to the giant Tang containers. Gives you a break from purified/boiled water.

    Ditto on the canned fruit.

    Canned green beans and peas.

    Your preferred coffee, plus freeze-dried coffee.

    Dehydrated boxed potatoes and Hamburger Helper-type meals.

    Canned soups, stews, and ready-meals, such as chili, ravioli, Spaghetti-Os, etc.

    • Bought many of the items listed today. Had to get the chocolate!!

    • Note on Ramen, it has a high oil content and goes rancid if not kept in a sealed, oxygen free container. The plastic bags in which it is usually sold DO NOT keep out oxygen. Be aware that these packages are already aging by the time you buy them… Refrigeration/freezing helps but oxygen must be removed.

      • Interesting tidbit. Is that from personal experience, or something someone somewhere heard or read?

        After getting the comment email, I just opened one of the plastic Chinamart tubs where we store our Ramen. Got out a packet (chicken flavor) purchased in February 2011. Maruchan brand, not even ‘Top Ramen’. Expiration date of May 2013. Did not note or detect anything rancid about it. Cooked and ate the whole thing, then ran around the kitchen with scissors. I’ll let you know tomorrow if I sprouted a third eye overnight…. 🙂

        • It is my personal experience with Ramen packages. The ages were approximately 1-3 months after purchase. And multiple instances, not just one purchase.
          The smell of rancid fat was very obvious upon opening the packages. I did not check for “use-by” dates and the Ramen was from bulk (24 packs) purchases at two of the larger food superstores in town.
          PS: Careful with those sissors…

          • Miiiiiighty interesting. Could be a lot of factors, I suppose… Humidity, temperature… Beef vs. Chicken flavor? (Never a fan of the Beef, personally.)

            I’m very glad to know it was obvious to you upon opening. I was holding my brick o’noodles under a light, looking for signs of mold and rancidness (is that a word?).

            We – seriously – have all those packets stored in Chinamart tubs, which we’ve opened numerous times, plus those flatter under-bed plastic tubs. Hardly airtight. And we’re a few thousand feet higher than we were when we bought a lot of that Ramen. Fascinating.

  14. Recently

    I started storing bacon fat since I eat bacon and u freeze it . Although I understand it does not need to be frozen I just freeze it in jars

    My concern with food is to make sure that people have another fat and calories in their diet . I am especially concerned with the intake of children .

    So a spoonful of bacon fat in the rice or whatever non meat / limited protein food you are eating is a good idea

    • I personally feel long term storage of non frozen bacon fat can be iffy, so I started pressure canning mine, pint jars for 80 minutes at 10 lbs pressure for my altitude. I could freeze mine but am very short of freezer space, and if power goes out I won’t be in a mad rush to can the freezer contents before they spoil.
      Commercially made lard can be stored long term in food safe lidded pails in a fairly cool basement. For those who love Crisco, you might want to start reading the label and where the items are sourced.

  15. Tea bags…lots of tea bags. Tea bags are great for making the house wine of the South, hot tea for upset stomachs, colds, flu.
    Wasp bites, mosquito bites, red ant bites, moisten a tea bag apply to the bite. Removes itching, swelling and heals area quickly.

    Water is a must…but it gets old drinking the same thing daily. We take fresh fruit, berries, melons, peaches, plums, etc to make
    fruit waters. Free ebooks online at, for making fruit waters and other thirst quenching beverages., Kindle app for PC. Lots free or very inexpensive ebooks for dried bean recipes, rice recipes, ramen noodle recipes, spam recipes, old fashioned cooking on a budget recipes. Ebooks to make homemade sauces, rubs, seasonings, salad dressings, mustards and more.

    Before my husband passed, his advice to me… keep everything in his man cave (garage). Every nut, bolt, nail, screw, copper pipe,
    copper wiring, everything. Old repair manuals, for cars, trucks, scooters. Repair manuals for electrical appliances large and small,
    gasoline, electric, propane motors. Small battery tester, for AAA to D cell batteries. Saw horse clamps to make saw horses.
    These items are great to barter with or use myself.

  16. Thomas The Tinker says:

    Docj: Timber framing tools. If you have the space and the $$$ … new. Used… I find these at a number of out of town yard sales and barn auctions. Good steel can be made to look pretty ugly when left hanging or stuffed in a box. My BIL and I have cleaned and refinished a nice collection of good solid wood and timber working hand tools. The functional difference between olde style tooling and new is the grade of metal and temper .. finish .. ‘stylish design’ .. and if ‘Harbor Frieght’ can sell it cheap enough .. Haunt enough web sites and pick up a tool here and there and pretty soon you will be getting sources of fine tools .. hand tools .. in the mail every month.

    I gotta agree with BCtruck…. reuse, repurpose, refinish. Finding an olde dusty & rusty gem and getting it back to work is a most satisfying thing to do.

  17. Yeast. Unless you are a pro sourdough baker you’ll need yeast to make bread unless you are just going to eat tortillas. We buy Saf yeast in 1# pkgs; vacumn packed. Keeps forever in freezer. Amazon good source if your local grocery doesn’t carry. Don’t waste your time storing the little pkts. Honey is the best to store for your sweetner to feed the yeast.

  18. Vegatarians need protein, beans would be good on the list. Peanut butter lasts about two years or so. Flour, noodles, baking soda and powder, canned butter, dehydrated eggs, (for cakes, pancakes, etc) evaporated dry milk, and several dehydrated or freeze dried #10 cans of veggies, cheese, and fruits and grains.

    For repair and tools, have hand tools available unless you have a generator. Look around for your needs and what may need repair soon, or something that breaks down that you can’t live without and buy what parts, fasteners, tools, nails, nuts and bolts, and screws you can use.

    I have expanded my storage to extra chain saw chains and spark plugs, fuel storage, glues, extra wood, extra paint, etc, if you may need them.

  19. In the food area I would add: salt, pepper & other spices, Mrs. Dash, coconut oil, honey unless you have your own bees, plenty of canning jars & lids(I’ve been using Tattler reusable). I’m sure there’s more, but these are just off the top of my head.

    According to DH you can never have enough odds and ends laying around for projects.

  20. I forgot to add powdered peanut butter , and a treadle lathe . I will probably think of some more things as the day goes on. My mind is going 20 different direction today; sorry.

    • Where would I find a treadle lathe? Could one be built in a woodshop if a person had drawing plans?

      • I think you can find plans for a treadle lathe in some of Roy Underhill’s books. It shouldn’t be to hard to convert an electric lathe over to treadle lathe. I’ll have to see if I can find some plans.

      • there is one in one of the foxfire books

  21. Look for Bisquick in pouches – 7 or 8 ounces, all you need is water. Mighty nice to have if you’re not into baking bread.

  22. Christine M says:

    I look forward to seeing your list. Good suggestions above. I can’t believe I haven’t added ramen noodles to our supplies.
    For long term or medicinal purposes, consider an assorted variety of teas, dehydrated lemons/limes/oranges, molasses, carob powder, popcorn, and pickling spice mixture.
    I know it’s not for everyone, but at Costco I found organic tofu with a two year shelf life. Yum!
    In the tool department, spare handles.

    • LOL Yes indeed, Ramen is like an MRE, but several dollars cheaper. (And I have eaten a LOT of MREs.)

      I know this isn’t a BOB thread, but for only a few dollars, anyone can pack food that weighs almost nothing into a one-week BOB if they think Ramen, pouches of Spam/tuna (yes, foil pouches, just look for ’em), granola bars … stuff that is very lightweight but packed with enough of the right stuff to get you where you’re going.

      It’s dehydrated and lasts forever. It takes water to boil it, so you can boil unpurified water, then use that to cook up your Ramen.

      Store in heavy plastic or metal containers to keep out the pests.

      • Christine M says:

        I will add Ramen to the BOB. Also will replace the canned tuna with foil wrapped. Better choice.

      • Chuck Findlay says:

        (Store Ramen in heavy plastic or metal containers to keep out the pests.)

        That’s the truth, mice love Ramen more then a Hollywood Star likes cocaine…

    • Good ideas. Any ideas on the tofu brand. Mine is about 6 months so I am planning on growing my own soybeans to make soy milk and tofu. Have a bag of soy beans in freezer to make them last longer.

      • Christine M says:

        It is Morinaga Silken Organic; comes in a box of twelve 12.3 oz bricks. I’d be interested in knowing how your soy crop turns out.

  23. Denkermann says:

    I live in hunting/fishing country but I (like several of my friends) do occasionally get skunked, and sometimes the garden doesn’t produce too well for various reasons. So I store everything I ever use or think some of my neighbors might use. You may not eat meat (or some other item) but you can sure use it for barter when the time comes.

    • Already breeding chickens. Hope to have rabbits before SHTF. Have a herd of 15-20 deer on the property that could be thinned down and canned. Even though I do not eat meat, the rest of the world does. I canned some chicken I bought on sale for my DGS. Family can fish the pond; wide mouth bass in there over 5 pounds. I did buy 10 cans of tuna today. Probably wil buy a lot more. Any more ideas for domestic meat production, pass it on.

      • In S. America, I believe they raise guinea pigs for home use. they just run around the house/shack until harvested!

  24. Cooking oil, salt, pickling salt, spices, yeast, tea, coffee, honey, sugar. (This assumes that you’ve got the basics–rice, beans, wheat, oatmeal, popcorn, etc.) Read about the Great Depression. People didn’t have enough fat in their diets. Fabric to repair clothing was in short supply.

    • How long will cooking oil keep unopened? I buy curtains, tablecloths, etc. at salvation army plus scraps from fabric store. Trying to have a couple of big tubs with fabrics to make clothing and household linens. Also bought yards of 2 sided flannel for diapers (in trade), women’s hygiene plus fabrics for hankerchiefs, dish cloths, kitchen towels. I am also buying good looking used bath towels at salvation army. I can buy good quilts also at SA for about $6-$8. Just have to look them over. I buy “dog quilts” for about $3 that need mending. In the winter, my cats and dogs appreciate the added warmth of the folded quilts under them. Would also make a bit of a pallet for kids to sleep on when beds run short.

      • One of few posts I have been able to find on fabric storeage and uses. Would love to see more on this subject. As a mom of 6 could use some prepping tips in the clothes/shoe area.

        • Sarah
          Send the request to MD, an see what everyone has to say. This short request might not be caught by the entire Pack but put as a special question you will receive more input.

          • Thank u so much for the reply. My cpu skills are limited at best. Could you direct me as to how to submit the request to md?

      • Doc – I get my olive oil in plastic bottles and freeze it. I have some in the basement – around 40 deg in winter and 60 in summer. Will move them to the freezer as soon as I can.

  25. Bega canned cheese (Australian — originally created for harsh conditions in the outback with no refrigeration as I recall) stores forever, and Red Feather canned butter from New Zealand, which also has a very long shelf life… pricey, but hard to duplicate and widely sold at various survival type outlets and eBay.

    • Chuck Findlay says:

      I just can cheese and butter, it should last a while according to Jackie Clay and a few other web sites.

      I opened some cheddar cheese I canned a year ago and while the texture was different (not bad, just different) it tasted like cheddar cheese.

  26. mom of three says:

    Canning salt, stevia herb plant, for sugar, chives, they dry very well. Mint plants, Junket rennet tablets, for cheese making. Herbs, like rosemary, sage, parsley. If you have room Raspberry, to grow along a fence you need to keep them under control with in 5 year’s you will get bumper crops. I have 4 Gallon bags frozen from mine and I have around 15 to 20 canes, this is my 5th year having them by the fence.

  27. Chuck Findlay says:

    Drilling holes by hand sucks.

    Running in deck screws (outdoor dry-wall screws) in by hand really sucks.

    I chose to buy good drills and figure out how to use them without the grid. This way I can do more work then doing it by hand and also do a better job.

    Buy battery powered drills that have 12-volt batteries, not 14.4, not 18 or any voltage higher. Why buy these drills? Because you can charge them from a 12-volt solar panel.

    Buy at least a 50-watt solar panel for this. 100-watts is better, but my 50-watt one works.

    Never, Ever buy a Thin Film solar panel as they degrade a lot over a few short years. Harbor Tools panels are such a panel.

    I know 12-volt drills will not do as much work as a 18-volt drill. Yes and no, My M-12 Milwaukee 12-volt drills will run my dads Ryoby 18-volt drills into the ground. 12-volt Milwaukee drills are not as powerful as the 18-volt Milwaukee drills, but they are better then other 18-volt drills. Look on U-Tube and will see them doing this.

    • Chuck Findlay says:

      Also with a 12-volt drill and in a long-term grid-down situation if the batteries die and no longer hold a charge, you can solder or just twist wires to a 12-volt cordless drill and power it from any 12-volt source be it a auto battery or directly from a solar panel. This way you can still do work with it that is much easier then doing it by hand.

      • Have 18 volt. Will pick up a couple of 12 volts. Want a solar panel for charging bateries.

        • docj, you can get 12v vehicle chargers for your 18v tools. I use one to charge my 18v Dewalt tools directly from my truck, from a portable battery pack or from my solar panels at home.

      • yes . have done a lot of these for farmers . gives them a drill anywhere on the farm they can get a tractor or 4 wheeler.

  28. A lof of great ideas have been covered, hope these arent repeats.

    Hurricane ties are very useful in all kinds of building, I have a full 5 gallon bucket of them stored.

    Files of all shapes and sizes.

    Extra chimney cap for wood stove. Plus maybe door gasket and cement.

    my water is supplied off a 12v Rv pump, I keep 2 extras

    • Extra charge controller for solar, along with fuses, spare wiring, extra juggs of distilled water for batteries.

      As much propane as possible.

      Garden lime, wasp spray, cans of spray foam insulation, steel wool.

      Radiation pills, antibiotics, coloidal silver or generator, nyquill(has saved my butt and helped me sleep off the flu on several occasions) athletes foot treatment( i use silver but i think once alot of people are on there feet all day doing chores and sweating it will become a real priority)

      Any safety devices you can think of, gloves, glasses, etc ect…. accidents will be all bad without a doctor.

  29. Chuck Findlay says:

    Last year I made a chimney cap out of a metal bucket. I sprayed it with high-temp black paint and made a bracket out of some strap steel and mounted it on the top of the stove pipe for the wood burner in the garage. So far it’s doing good and being that I had the bucket it was a free cap other then 1/2 hour work.

  30. Chuck Findlay says:

    One thing I don’t see on a lot of list for things for preppers to stock is bug spray. Post SHTF people are going to be outdoors a lot more, and bugs can drive you nuts.

    And now (end of Summer close-out sales) is the time to stock up on it as the price is lower.

    • Same goes for sunblock. Go for at least 40 to 60 ratings. Skin cancer is nasty if you don’t. Same with getting some broad brimmed sun hats. Baseball caps may be traditional but they don’t offer any shade around necks and ears.

  31. I have a storage shed in my yard that is in the corner quite close to the fence. I was able to screw sheets of plywood onto the side of the shed that faces the fence. A safe place to store some plywood, out of the way and protected from the weather. I then made a small door into the side of the area enclosed by the peak of the roof. This allows me to place 2’x4’s into the unused area in the rafters. All safely stored in the event of needing repairs or building new.

  32. Docj,
    Depending on where you live and how much trouble you are willing to go through, you can come pretty close to being food self-sufficient in many areas of the continental US through a combination of plants and livestock.
    The plants you will need to put your energy into are those that will produce the most calories for the time spent growing them. Your “normal” home garden plants like lettuces, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, etc. will make nice additions to your diet but you won’t be able to survive on them.
    Potatoes, beans, dent corn or popcorn, wheat, winter squash, peanuts and apples though, will all grow in many locations and will provide you with plenty of calories. These plants are easy to process and store compared to others that require cooking, canning, etc.
    I’ve found sunflowers to be a good source of oil – again, they are easily grown and simple to process in small batches so you don’t have to worry about the oil going rancid.
    Stevia can be grown as a sugar substitute and sorghum can be grown in many areas although the processing of it (and sugar cane) is difficult. Maple syrup is practical in areas that have cold winters but be careful of mold growth during storage. Your best bet most anywhere will be honey. Your hives can produce about a hundred pounds a year so figure 1 hive per adult and you’ll be fine.
    If you can add milk (creme, butter, cheese), eggs, fish or some meat you are pretty much set.

    So what can’t your land produce?
    Baking essentials are the big ones – salt, baking powder, baking soda, and yeast.
    Salt is usually mentioned first. A person needs about 8 pounds of salt a year as a part of your diet which actually isn’t very much. If you live near an ocean you can easily dehydrate that much and many other areas have natural deposits but if your area is lacking, then you must have it in your stores. If you are considering butchering and preserving large animals without refrigeration, then you will need A LOT of salt (although some of it can be reused).
    Baking soda is another item that you’ll miss if you run out but luckily, like salt, it’s cheap and easy to store. Unlike salt though, it will expire after a while if exposed to moisture so seal it away in portions that you’ll use up in 12 months or so.
    Baking powder will also last a long, long time if kept dry (be sure to store the double acting type). Or as Gloria stated, store creme of tarter and make your own.
    Yeast is the toughest one to store long-term. Yes, you can freeze it but if you are not planning on keeping a freezer operating, you’ll need to store it in a cool, dry anaerobic environment. At some point though, you’ll probably have to be cultivating natural yeasts.

    Beyond that, you are looking at wants instead of dietary needs (although coffee and chocolate really straddle that line for me).

    Regarding the question of building tools:
    Timber harvesting – Ax (felling and limbing), crosscut saw, peavy, tongs
    Log hewing – Adz, broad ax, froe, drawknife
    Framing and finish –
    Brace and bits, breast drill, hand drill and full index of drills
    Wood Chisels (1/4 through 2″)
    Cold Chisels
    Rasps and files
    Hammers (wood mallet, framing hatchet, 20 oz. claw, 24 oz. framing, sledge)
    Handsaws (10 or 12 point crosscut, rip, coping, tenon, keyhole, dovetail, hack)
    Planes (scrub, jack, jointer, smoothing, shoulder)
    Various bars (wrecking, flat, pry, spud)
    Misc. (tape, folding rule, marking gauge, combo square, framing square, bevel gauge, spirit level, cats paw, plumb line, chalk box, compass, clamps, nail sets, countersink, pencils)

    • Love this list. Have most, but need to pick up several items. Have land. Plan on dent corn. Have wheat stored but have never grown to replenish.

  33. riverrider says:

    i would suggest 18 volt power tools and a solar panel with battery and inverter. they increase your power exponentially and the solar set can be used to charge many other things.

  34. Household chemicals, hth (dry chlorine) batips soda, borax, washing soda (sodium carbonate), cream of tartar, vinegar, diatomaceous earth, boric acid, Lye, hydrogen peroxide, witch Hazel, ethanol. As well as reference material on how to use them, one of my favorites is Formulas, methods, tips, and data (a popular science book)

  35. That’s baking soda, autoincorrector strikes again, sorry from my not so smart phone.

  36. Some simple pleasures would be nice. Me? I bought extra Jolly Ranchers Hard Candy, both regular and sugar free. I’ve also added bubble gum, powdered milk, canned Vienna Sausage and Potted Meat. They are small but store well. Nestles Chocolate Mix, Tang and Kool Aid drink mixes might be nice to have. Bottled jars of Spaghetti Sauce, Alfredo Sauce, Soy Sauce, and other sauces that won’t be readily available.
    I think of things I like to eat now and think about not having those things later. Cornbread mix, Zattarain’s Fish Fry, Hamburger Helper? Quick and Easy things to cook quick and easy.
    The list can go on and on.

  37. I too am using these posts to make my own list of things to add.
    Thanks to everybody for the great additions.

  38. I am glad I asked the questions. The responses have been great. My cleaned up copy and paste of the comments in 14 font came to 28 pages printed out. So many ideas and I am afraid not enough time to put it all together. The 4 top concerns now are ISIS, terrorists allowed into this country through a not existent policy to stop them, Ebola, and the soon to crash economy. Putin did not make the list nor many other concerns we could all identify-EMP, climate, loss of privacy, loss of freedoms, etc. Could have Martial Law by Election Day! Keep praying. Keep prepping. Keep your family close.

  39. This is a great list and I will be adding a few things to my own list of lists. Some things that come to mind that are not listed here are:
    paper plates, cups and plastic ware (for when you cannot wash dishes)
    dish soap, dish pan, scraper, draining rack, & scouring powder
    dish towels (when the dishwasher is gone, we will be back to using the dishtowels again)
    pens, pencils and erasers along with pads of paper

  40. Peanut butter and ghee (clarified butter in a can).

    • Jeanne,
      Not sure how long the PB will last; but, Ghee has a very long shelf life. Good additions all in all.
      The big thing is what to use after you run out of your stored oils.

      • Oh, I have beau coup amounts of canned nuts, olive oil, canola oil, coconut oil, lard, crisco and butter set aside as well, some in freezer. I have had lard get pink mold stored in the cupboard. I can grow or gather plants, can trade for eggs, but I can’t get fats easily.

  41. Chuck Findlay says:

    Question, has anyone ever used Cayenne powder to stop bleeding? I just learned that id does this and I’ve read it doesn’t burn doing it. I’m waiting for a cut to try it. I’m also thinking I need to add it to my first aid kits if it works. Blood Stop band aids and powder is expensive for the small size pouch it comes in. Four small pouches are $7.00 and Curad band aids are $8.00 for 10 band aids. 80 cents for a band aid is kinda high when you look at buying a hundred of them to build up a good supply.

    If cayenne works it would allow you to stop bleeding for a very reasonable price.

  42. One more hand tool that could be useful is the Yankee Screwdriver. It’s the original “cordless screwdriver” and can ve used for drilling, screwing and unscrewing.

  43. Christine M says:

    Just going over the list again and thought of a few more items:
    Shoe Cushion Inserts
    Dry Roasted Peanuts

  44. Hi everyone. Dried celery. I use it in so many soups ans stews. Soups and stews will be what we will eat around here and I can’t imagine these dishes without celery.

Before commenting, please read my Comments Policy - thanks!