Storing food -vs- being prepared

This is a guest post and entry in our non-fiction writing contest by Sioux0624

I have noticed that a lot of people storing food are setting themselves up for problems down the road because they won’t be able to prepare and eat what they stored.  One neighbor proudly stated that she had 400 pounds of wheat stored. I asked what she would do with it if she had to get it out and use it tonight. She had no idea. She had no clue how to grind, pop or sprout wheat. She knows how to make bread but admitted she has not stored yeast, salt, honey or other items to make bread. She doesn’t even have a grinder to make flour, so is ill prepared to make bread even if she did have all the ingredients.  Hopefully she can smash wheat with a hammer and whip up some rough tortillas (assuming she has shortening and salt).

People who store rice must cook it in water, but have they stored water or can they purify water found locally? How about having bouillon, herbs, soups, spices, and other things to mix with the rice? How many bowls of unflavored white rice will family members want to eat every week?

For preppers, the “basic foods” are wheat, rice, beans, dried milk and honey/sugar, but a lot more is needed to make those things pleasantly edible. If you’re stuck on storing just the basics and then calling yourself “prepared,” you are falling way short of actually being prepared.  Here are some steps to nudge you up a level:

1)  Purchase a food storage cookbook or visit food storage websites and print their recipes. You can purchase used books online at various sites. Some great food storage retail websites with recipes include: beprepared.com, shelfreliance.com, honeyvillegrain.com, augasonfarms.com, and waltonfeed.com.  You can type “food storage recipes” in a general internet search – I’ve found entire recipe booklets online to print out. Youtube.com has many videos for recipes and food storage – just type in the key words and you’ll learn something new in no time.

2)  Practice cooking ahead of time! Learn to prepare basic stored foods now so you’re prepared later, plus it helps your family get their stomachs and bowels used to the food.  Grind wheat and make bread, soak wheat and make cereal, sprout some wheat and make a salad, pop wheat for a snack.  Fix rice/beans without fresh meat, fresh produce, fresh dairy or frozen foods. Use dried milk to make condensed milk, yogurt, buttermilk, pudding and whatever you want in the future if grocery stores are no longer an option.

3)  As you experiment and gather recipes, you’ll learn which herbs, spices, flavorings, dried or freeze-dried fruits and vegetables, and other cooking and baking items you’ll need. Start storing them as religiously as you store the basic foods.

4)  Store non-vital but coveted condiments as well, such as catsup, mustard, mayo, soy sauce, salad dressings, Worcestershire, tomato sauce/paste, cream soups and other items you use in cooking and serving.  More extras to add to your storage would include powdered versions of sour cream, butter, eggs and margarine.  Cheese is sold in cans and in freeze-dried form, as is meat (save your pennies – the stuff isn’t cheap!).

5)  As always, rotate what you store.  Wheat and rice may last almost forever, but herbs, spices, soups, condiments and other foods should be used and replaced.

6)  When purchasing storage foods, getting smaller cans (not the #10 cans) may be better because once you open a can, you have so many weeks or months to use up the contents before they aren’t so fresh any more.  How fast would you use up a #10 can of baking powder or powdered egg whites?  Freeze-dried fruits don’t last a long time in any humidity once a can is opened.  Plan ahead and purchase smaller sizes if the contents won’t be used very quickly or you’ll be wasting a lot of your hard-earned purchases.

In times of trouble and need, those who are truly prepared will be better off than those who store the basics and consider the job done.  Here are some examples of BASIC versus PREPARED when it comes to what foods you have stored:

BASIC BREAKFAST:  Wheat cereal with honey.

PREPARED BREAKFAST:  Wheat cereal with raisins or other dried fruit, nuts, cinnamon, powdered milk, and some homemade bread and jam.

BASIC LUNCH:  A bowl of unflavored white rice.

PREPARED LUNCH:  Rice pilaf with corn, peas, carrots and onion, along with some reconstituted fruit on the side.  (Cook extra rice and make rice pudding for later!).

BASIC DINNER:  A small plate of bland beans, perhaps flatbread or a tortilla, and a cup of powdered milk.

PREPARED DINNER:  Stew with beans, freeze-dried beef chunks, and vegetables, served with reconstituted sour cream and shredded cheese on top.  Side of cornbread and honey.  Dessert of cobbler made from freeze-dried peaches or dehydrated apple slices, biscuit mix, cinnamon and some reconstituted whipping cream powder.

I applaud everyone who stores food and I agree we should have the suggested amounts stored of the basics – and don’t forget a grinder.  But let’s go beyond that so the food will not be something we dread eating. There is a chasm of difference between just STORING FOOD and actually BEING PREPARED.  A good daily meal will do more to hold you and your family together in a disaster or time of need than eating a bowl of beans or rice for every meal, every day.

I’ll end with a question – the same one I asked my friend.  If a disaster happens tonight and you have to make your family’s next meal with stored wheat (or beans or rice), what will you do with it?

This is an entry in our non-fiction writing contest where you could win:

First Prize) Winner will receive a Stealth Body Armor Level II vest courtesy of SafeGuard ARMOR™ LLC and a $150 gift certificate for Wolf Ammo courtesy of LuckyGunner.com   A total prize value of over $600.

Second Prize) Winner will receive a Wise Essentials Kit courtesy of LPC Survival and an EcoZoom’s Versa Stove courtesy of EcoZoom stoves.. A value of over $300.

Third Prize) Winner will receive copies of both of my books “31 Days to Survival: A Complete Plan for Emergency Preparedness” and “Dirt-Cheap Survival Retreat: One Man’s Solution” A total prize value of $28.

Contest ends on June 5 2012.

Comments

  1. Sioux0624:
    Good reminder. I try to keep things in balance and only stock up on what we eat and will eat. I also learned that a little gravy or sauce with some spice or sweetener makes ALL the difference in taste and desire to eat.

  2. worrisome says:

    Good points! I try to use my stored food in every day ways so that it is not unfamiliar to me for use in the future. I use lots of the ee vegies is soups and in beans……….all the time! I use my own dehydrated vegies the same way. I make simple syrups and incorporate dehydrated fruits and use them to top ice cream or cakes. I have gotten very creative with rice and now grow ginger so that i can always add it and some dried vegies to make it something way beyond a bland side dish. Agree wholeheartedly that getting in the habit now, is better than waiting.

  3. True story- Looking up something on the net I stumbled across some survivalist/prepper things, to which my first thought was “these people are crazy”. Not a week later while having some things done in the basement our water had to be turned off. 5 kids (3 under 2!) and no water does not a good scenario make. After my annoyance that all of my kids had to pee/get a drink of water, the second thing in my head was “those survivalist/preppers would totally have been prepared for this”

    Thus my journey into prepping started, literally 3 weeks ago. This is a great post to help me think above and beyond beans, rice and wheat.

    • JedRebel says:

      LOL that is a good story Newbs. Welcome to the club. I had only been prepping about two years when I went through a period of not being able to find work for about ten months. My wife and I were so glad we had plenty of stored food and other preps to rely on! One important prep you don’t hear talked about as much is a cash emergency fund. Prepping will change your life for the better. 100 years ago this wasn’t a fringe thing, it was just plain common sense and everyone did it.

    • Kelekona says:

      Preppers are a little bit extreme, but there are a lot of non-preppers that still keep pantries in expectation of not being able to go to the store for two weeks.

      With warning of the water being shut off, you should have filled your tub so that you could flush and wash up. During confirmed hurricane inconvenience, I fill up my large stew pots for drinking and cooking.

      • Hmmmmmmm. gues Noah was extreme too! I’d rather have it and not need it, than need it and not have it. There’s a story going around about a retired colonel living in California. Dutifully, every 6 months he would hook up a trash (water) pump and generator to his pool and run a phalanx of sprinklers on his roof. The neighbors all laughed and made fun of him for being an extremist. Lo and behold, fires swept the hills, and everyone had to run for their lives. The Colonel set up his devices and left. After the fires had swept through the area, the news helicopters showed a completely razed and devastated neighborhood, except for one house, completely untouched!
        The Colonel came home and shut off his pump and generator and went to bed…

        I had friends who made fun of me for prepping unitl 911, who then really wanted advice on bug-out-bags and preps to survive if the system so many love and rely on fails.

        I notice you say “with warning” , I hope the terrorists warn you before the EMP!!!

        • Kelekona says:

          Legion 7, I really doubt that an EMP would take out water distribution for very long. Without warning, I’d just have no way to flush the toilet.

          There’s still wild water here, and I could take maybe 20 gallons out of the fish tank without killing the fish.

          And an EMP is not really fitting into the terrorism tactics that cause our own protection to destroy our way of life.

      • “Kelekona April 14, 2012 at 1:11 PM

        Preppers are a little bit extreme, but there are a lot of non-preppers that still keep pantries in expectation of not being able to go to the store for two weeks.”

        Preppers are indeed not extreme. Think of all those countries out there that have what we call ‘preppers’. I grew up in Northern Canada and what folks down here call ‘prepping’ we called Spring and Fall. We kept everything we grew and ate everything we planted. What we didn’t we canned or gave to local food banks. My grandfathers had shells and ammo everywhere for hunting in case the weather got so crazy that the crops failed (which it did more often than one would care to think). There was no government to bail them out or welfare or unemployment lines. When my grandfathers lost their jobs as cabbies they became highrise construction workers. When that failed they became fishermen. When that season ended they were loggers and hunters.

        My point is that what is viewed as those living in the ‘Nannyland’ as extreme, is actually just good sense and the way God has intended us to live.

        • BamaBecca says:

          I was laughed at and called “extreme” when I was prepping like mad for Y2K. Nothing happened….BUT like I told the ones who poked fun at me, ” I have a family to feed, what are YOU going to do if something DOES happen and you have nothing?”

          And Buuurr, I agree with you whole heartedly. I have always wished I was born 100 years sooner, but I guess God had something for me to do in this century instead. So here I am, lol.

          • Shades of Green says:

            BamaBecca,
            I too was teased relentlessly for prepping for Y2K and yes nothing happened that year but the very next winter we a an ice storm that took out our power in the neighborhood for over 12 hours. Who do you think supplied friends with fresh brewed coffee, lunch and dinner for thier families and a warm place to hangout. Me. With the amount of people I had to feed I made large quanties of chicken and dumplings ( real food ). One family had never even had them and was amazed at how good it was. I was shocked that they didn’t know what chicken and dumplings were much less how to make them. Even though we went through that my DH still thinks I’m strange for prepping now but not so much when I asked for a gun. I got that with no problem. The other stuff he just kind of looks the other way because he knows to try to tell me “not” to do something would only make it worse. smart man.

        • Buuurr,

          I liked what you had to say. Stocking up used to be common sense. Now folks view it as weird. I haven’t seen you post before. So welcome to the Wolf Pack.

    • Encourager says:

      Welcome to the pack Newbs. Go to the archives there is a ton of stuff there for you to get started. Or buy M.D.’s latest book!

  4. Sioux0624,
    You bring up some good points. We sometimes tend to focus on the “stuff” instead of the knowledge and skills. Even if you have grain mills (I have an electric and several manual ones), have you ever used them. How often do you bake bread, rolls, cakes, etc. from scratch, even from stored flour, let along from whole grains? The time to learn a critical skill, from firearms, to fire making, to food preparation, is not when the criticality is life threatening. Train now while a faulty or burnt loaf of bread isn’t a necessity, and you’ll be much less stressed if and when it ever becomes one.

    Also, don’t forget the powdered peanut butter and the freeze dried strawberries, LOL.

  5. Finding a reliable food storage company can definatley be difficult. With the Wise Company Food Kits you dont have to worry about opening the whole thing at once and letting it go to waste. This is because all of the meals are packaged in Nitrogen packed 4 serving pouches which gives you plenty of time to eat the 4 or you can share with your friends or family.

  6. robert in mid michigan says:

    the wolf pack put together a good cookbook for this awhile back. not sure whats up with it but covers a lot of the basics. ( book was a lot of Gayles work)

    i agree completly with what you are saying about storing basics to make a better meal. we should all be eating what we store. i know i have cut the food bill for a family of four to about a third of what it used to be far more if you consider how much we used to eat out.

    keep prepping, keep praying
    learn everyday
    keep a weary eye on the horizon
    it looks like it could be bad
    pray it gets better
    i would rather be crazy than rite.

    • robert,
      “I would rather be crazy than right”. That’s the truth brother. I don’t think I’m wrong about the future, but would sure like to be proven that way.

  7. Cold Warrior says:

    I only wish I had this advice before I started as a survivalist 20 years ago. I could have saved a whole bunch of money back then.
    I’m in a position in my life where we have 1 years supply of Mountain House foods put away and even those have to be watched for rust on the cans.
    Prep for the worst, pray for the best.

  8. George is Learning says:

    Some white rice, sugar, cinnamon and some honey is quite good.

    Thanks for the article

  9. Yadkin Girl says:

    Very good points raised in this article. I laughed at the neighbor with all the wheat berries and no grinder! We had over 200 lbs of wheat berries before we had a grinder – due to it being back ordered for over 6 months. Once I received it I started grinding my berries and making bread.

    Having condiments, spices and other flavorings is also important. We have bought a lot of flavorings, spices, gravies, ect from The Great American Spice Company http://www.americanspice.com/ and King Arthur Flour http://www.kingarthurflour.com/ . We buy DH and powdered items we then can (in canning jars) and store long term. Take a look at these sites and you will find DH and powdered things like: lemon & orange juice and zest; gravies; salad dressings; frostings; soup mixes; cheeses; spices (of course); etc. You can buy small quantities or in bulk.

    We don’t have a lot of meals, as I would rather bake and cook from scratch and have a greater variety.

    Good article with some things to think about. Thank you.

  10. charlie (NC) says:

    Good article and great advice. I’ve just recently gotten tuned in on dehydrating veggies. I tried it a couple of years ago but didn’t get serious about it until I pulled out some stuff I had dried in small quatities, re-hydrated it and tried it. I liked the results and this summer when veggies are plentiful I intend to get serious about it. It’s so simple to do. Have a bag of carrots in your fridge that you think will go bad before you use them up? Slice them up on a mandolin slicer, spread them on your dryer trays and let them dehydrate. Put them in sealed jars or better yet if you have a FoodSaver or similar vacuum packing device seal them in food grade plastic. They re-hydrate great and will taste some kind of good mixed in with your rice post shtf. The same goes for many other veggies.

    I’d like to see others state the different veggies they have successfully de-hydrated.

    • Charlie NC, I just dehydrated kale for the first time yesterday.

      A big bunch that took up the better part of a crisper drawer, filled two dehydrator trays (after de-stemming) and withered down to almost nothing. Yea, lots of nutrition in a small jar!

      Can’t wait to see how it cooks back up in a casserole, soup or pilaf.

      I’ve also dehydrated sweet corn, mixed veggies and other selections from Costco’s freezer case.

      The sweet corn is like candy dried. And we like how it cooks back up; it takes a while to reconstitute, but it was just fine served plain with butter.

      • Oh, and what I wish I knew before dehydrating a batch of kale: turn off the dehydrator blower before opening the door.

        This time I saved the stem/main rib for making stock. Maybe next time, I’ll dehydrate them stem on, or try fermenting them.

    • BamaBecca says:

      Charlie, so far my dehydrating consists of lots of potatoes (irish and sweet), lots of onions, carrots, celery, and bell peppers. All of these things will work in soups and stews. I haven’t tried dehydrating any fruits yet, but hope to this summer when they are in abundance. Oh and I’ve also dehydrated some parsley and chives, 2 things I use a lot of in my normal cooking.

  11. This is all very sound advice. We introduced my mother (now deceased) to rice as a basic vegetable rather than the potatoes she always used. After a short experimentation period, she was proficient (she only fixed for herself with her usual serving size being a vienna sausage can) in fixing her rice with dehydrated vegetables, a little no sodium boullion and a small portion of the packaged gravy to enhance it. She said she felt better and more nourished those last few years than she had in all her previous years. Her experience and the loss of our stored provisions due to being comprimised led me to change my way of doing things. I now only package things whether it is a purchased dry item like chicken noodle soup or rice a roni in a single serving pack using the individual bags I got from Northern Bags and sealing them with the vacuum heat sealer. With these varied mixed meals, I try to have a three day supply of meals, water, cooking and heating medium with other survival supplies in an easy to carry, store and handle (for me that is since I am 73) tote tubs that I have altered with sponge rubber lid seals and latches. I have these in assorted dull colors, like slate blue, gray, dull green and whatever other dull colors that I find. My goal is to eventually have enough stored to sustain us for a year and then to keep the foodstuffs rotated. W have been fixing the MRE type meals ourselves in the varieties we will readily eat and sealing them in the individual serving bags. The breakfast meals we try to stay with the dried egg and bacon, ham or sausage flavored with dehydrated peppers and my wife has even gotten to the point she can fabricate a mix for gravy and two biscuits in the dry stuff. I have had to change the way I stored stuff and no more buckets of honey since grandchildren found it and caused me to loose buckets of honey. It is now in the small plastic bottles and honey keeps indefinitely. The same goes for the peanut butter, the large containers spoiled so easily, we have had to repackage what five pound buckets that were not broken into and spoiled into small packages. I have in each tote, four days worth of meals, lighters, flint strikers, water, a couple of the plastic utility knives with the snap off blades, they come in a package of one large and one small, a couple of the collapsible openers a P38 and a P51 size since the water is canned and there are several other small cans that are not pop tops. I try to buy the pop tops if available. I generally have room for several of the 55 gallon trash bags and duct tape along with paracord and the plastic woven electrical pulling measuring cord that commercial electricians use to make a shelter tent and a couple of the mylar space blankets. I have made some little knock down stoves that can be folded flat for use in cooking with the hand sanitizer and cotton wicking I use for my fuel elements along with a couple of the gel tab strips that have a half dozen fuel tabs on them. I figure that if I can keep these hidden in several locations including one which is a number of miles remotely located from this one, along with my totes that have my bow saws, hatchets, and other tools in them I will be able to make it whether I am bugging in or being forced to depart my location. I also fabricated a foldable cart from expanded aluminum mesh and plastic spoked bicycle wheels, that can haul six of the totes easily over smooth pathways and three or four over rough surfaces. I plan on making a couple more of them before this year is through. I will continue to package my stuff and dehydrate my own vegetables and onions to mix with the meals and package separately so I am not reduced to eating just bland white rice or bland beans.

    • You know, Harold, I don’t mean to be rude but some days I just want to come over there and whomp some of your grandkids up side the head for how they’ve disrespected you.

      And for what? Short term benefits from taking things from you, not even noticing the true treasure–your wisdom and experience.

      Your practicality and ingenuity remind me so much of my own grandfather. I was fortunate to learn what I did from him, but that was only the tip of the iceberg.

      After he died at a ripe old age, we joked that the cumulative family knowledge had been cut in half. The older I get, the more I realize how much more it really was.

      I wish I were your neighbor–I’d love to see you straighten/sharpen a saw with nails and a hammer, and then learn how to do it myself. I’d be in my yard at the crack of dawn, hoping you’d notice and invite me over to learn something new.

      Thanks for sharing a sliver of your knowledge here, Harold. You are a blessing to us all.

      • Thank you for the kind words and right about now, I would trade off half of my grandkids for some that wanted to learn how to do things. I am amazed at the lack of total knowledge that kids exhibit nowdays. At thirteen I certainly knew how do do most everything and in most cases it was kind of like survival back then. If the crosscut saw teeth were not properly set and sharpened it increased the effort tremendously not withstanding that I had a lazy worthless (still worthless unfortunately after all these years) on the other end who only functioned as a counterweight. I mowed the grass with a thin bladed scythe and it had to be kept super sharp also or it was much harder work. One of the things I have learned over the years is how to reduce effort in what you have to do. I once told an Army buddy that I was lazy and he corrected me that I was not lazy since I would do the work necessary but that I was conservative of effort since I found the easiest and most trouble free method to accomplish the duty. I just heard from him a year ago and told him I had UFOL and he was somewhat worried that I had one of those dreaded four letter ailments like COPD and ESRD. I told him not to worry that it just stood for Ugly, Fat, Old and Lazy. On that topic one of the things I have been trying to teach them is to take advantage of all of the modern refinements in metals and other items that are a real advance over the old time materials. I exhibited to them and axe I had made of riveted plates of stainless that would hold a super sharp edge and could be hollow ground. I showed them how much deeper it would enter the wood with the same amount of effort as the older iron axe. I tried to explain that back then since the laminated axe weights about half what the iron axe does that the extra weight was necessary to make it penetrate farther since the edge was not as good nor would withstand as long. It just went in one ear and out the other since I was not talking about game boys, ipads, mp4 players or overclocking my computer. Sad world indeed. The did not even recognize the old pre solid state ignition Dodge power wagon I was looking at. Well I hope the rest of our pack is functioning better than that and even though I will continue again in my way of prepping, I will probably not get the chance to avail myself of anything I have stashed away including the knowledge I would like to pass on. Reminds me of another lesson the neighbor learned last fall. He was putting in a new fence and had one of those two handled jab post hole diggers and was struggling. I at 72 went over with my old twist auger I have had since the 1940’s and drilled six holes to his one with much less effort. He borrowed the auger after a demonstration and unbelievable to me, he actually washed it and touched up the edges with a file then greased it before returning it to me. He can borrow my tools anytime and I will gladly show him how to use them.

    • Soggy Prepper says:

      I’m curious about the tote’s you altered with the sponge rubber lid seals and latches. It may be super simple and I’m trying to make it harder then it is, but could you explain how you do that and what it entails please?
      Do you use weather stripping to modify the seal on the totes? or sponges? Do the totes have latches on them or do you buy the less expensive totes and latch them somehow?

      I love the idea of each tote kinda being a stand alone container or prepper goodness. I’ve only done up “mylar meals” (dinner is in the jar) and put those in buckets to grab like those Wise food buckets or ones from Costco. Much more cost efficient for use storing for at least 6 people.

      Thanks for the wisdom Harold!

      • I use the self sticking foam rubber type 3/8″ wide weather strip. On both sides of the tote, I use a snap that is sealed with silicone for plastics and riveted to the side of the tub, two per side. I then rivet a short piece of the high density(close weave) woven nylon tape to the edge of the lid and attach the mating cap snap so it takes a small amount of pressure to push the lid down and snap the snaps. I used the garden hose with the direct high pressure blast along with a lawn sprinkler and then left it outside through two days of heavy thunder storms with high winds and driven rain. Still nice and dry inside. I plan on later changing the strap to a thin piece of stainless steel strap since I am not convinced the nylon is impregnable enough. On the totes I buy at Wally World, the ends have snap closures and actually pretty well keep it closed but it does bow in the middle of the side if you are not careful loading, hence the need for a pair of snaps on each side. Some time later on this summer, I will be fixing up several more and at that time, I will photograph the tubs, the snap installation and what each contains and email the photos to MD and he can figure out how to post them if he wants. I will not be changing the few I have done with the nylon straps but just use them for clothing , shoes or blankets, stuff that won’t ruin if it gets wet. You would be surprised at how much you can get in one of them. My biggest problems is finding the individual serving size cans of all of the vegetables I like. I try to make two of the days meals out of canned goods and the rest out of the mylar packet mre’s or dried stuff. I have been using mailing tubes taped together to hold the cans in position but lately I have just been rolling them together in kraft paper and taping that to keep them from getting jumbled about. I experimented with some dividers, but it took up a lot of the room and increased the weight more than I liked so I am back to stuffing the spaces between the tubes with paper napkins (good for everything including tp) and some of the white woven mechanics towels which are also very good for everything you can think of. I have also been messing around with some aluminum flashing like they use on roofs to make some tubes out of with the lap and bottom cap bonded on with JB Weld which is very strong and long lasting as the sample I made five years ago and filled with oil with a plastic snap cap has not lost any oil nor evidence of leakage. Best thing about this is you can make it any size you want. I started to make them to use for long burning candles and branched out into other uses. This kind of containers are readily available on eBay but they cost more than I am willing to pay by the time you add shipping. It takes me about ten minutes to set up and then I cut enough material for several of the units and when clamped in my jig for holding, the are then lap bonded with the JB quick weld and while it is setting I form the caps. I have found that the small hand press I have made from and old car bumper jack, a wooden block with the proper sized hole drilled in it for the form and I have been able to find the cup style freeze plugs at the auto parts store for the mandrel to press the aluminum sheet into the form making a cup. I then trim the edge with a cutting wheel on the dremel tool and have a perfect bottom to then bond into the tube. I really don’t have much else to do with my time since I am retired and mostly disabled with a bad back to do anything else except sit and stare at the corner.

        • Soggy Prepper says:

          Laughing at your last sentence Harold.
          Thanks for that Very detailed response. I really like the idea of sealing the totes with the weather stripping. I’m going to need to do that for a couple bug out totes.
          As it is we have bug out bags, but I’d want to grab more food and supplies. If they were in a couple designated totes that would be much, much easier.

          • I actually started using them for two reasons. A bag can get wet in case of an accidental exposure to water like the idiot grandson who stayed part of one night in the back room, moved a ready bag (I call them that to save explanation and curiousity) over by the window, left it open and we had a huge rainstorm with a lot of hard driven rain during the night. My wife found about noon the next day, the window was still open and everything was soaked. Two days of fan finally dried out the room and a lot of the stuff in the bag was also ruined. Room has a murphy bed and he was too sorry to even reclose the bed when he left in the middle of the night leaving my door unlocked. He does not stay longer than an hour if he happens to visit now.

            • Forgot the second reason is they are much easier to store, stack and carry than bags or buckets. When I pack one I wish that some of the canned goods were in square containers since it would make filling the tote easier.

        • A brief addendum about the longevity of the tubs discovered by accident. Back about eight years ago when we bought this place it had a bunch of totes with face brick veneer stored in the garage. I thought I had gotten it all out and dropped it into a large washout area on the edge of an embankment on my property line. A couple of weeks ago, preparing to dispose of some more broken concrete and bricks and other inert matter in the same place we discovered the tubs had deteriorated to the point they were flaking and falling apart. They were just the ordinary Wally World type totes, gray, dull green and dull blue. I threw a half brick at one and it just shattered into small pieces releasing it’s contents. They only see partial sunlight during the morning hours while they are outside the shade of the trees. Removing the last of the junk car parts (it really has been an eight year job to get rid of all of the lasting gifts the previous owners left me), we discovered two more of the totes filled with the brick facing on a piece of decomposed plywood under an old cabinet we were removing, (getting ready to pour a concrete floor) from the place it was sitting in. Both of the totes were in like new condition. Presuming they were all loaded at the same time, I would think that if you kept it covered it would last long past the time you used up all of the contents and makes me feel better about using this type of storage medium.

  12. I went camping last year and took only mountain house freeze dried meals. And promptly got sick of them. Storing foods and knowing how to prepare them is a good idea and I think I’ll try that this weekend.

  13. Hunker-Down says:

    A few months ago a gal from Gainesville put together a list of ingredients to add variety to oatmeal, and we are working toward expanding our stock of shelf stable items for that purpose. I’d tell you her name but she is using an alias, probably hiding from the chicken czar.

    We have a dehydrator and knew we could ‘do’ a batch of sliced apples, but wondered what to do with a gallon of dehydrated apples besides adding them to oatmeal.

    Thanks to you we are on the hunt for an apple cobbler recipe that uses only shelf stable ingredients; cant afford freeze dried.
    I ordered an apple tree.
    I’m hungry.

    Just on the news; Peanut butter rose 41% in the last 12 months. But not to worry, we got a 2% SSI raise this year. I dont want to start another rant on inflation so I’m going to town and get a glass of water.

    • Tinfoil Hat says:

      HD

      Obviously, you are FAR too simple and unsophisticated to TRULY understand macroeconomics and fiscal policy. Because if you did, you’d know what Chairman Bernanke has ALREADY explained to you ignorant commoners . There IS NO INFLATION DAMMIT! Stop fear mongering and instigating!

      Hopefully everyone can understand my words are dripping with sarcasm…

      • Yeah I liked the report on the news today that there was minimal inflation as the only thing that raised in price was food and gas. Well it seems to me that the MAIN two things I need to get to work and to live are FOOD and GAS! So if I am only buying cars, houses, appliances, clothes and shoes, etc, I guess I have no inflation. But if I want to buy the things that will keep me alive I am getting screwed by the economic policys of TDL. Think long and hard this fall on every single person you vote for!!!

        • George, it is interesting to me that they call the inflation minimal. They do not count food or energy in the inflationary spiral for cost of living increases and try to make it like nothing is going up. 2.2percent is sheer bs. I keep a fairly close ledger and since most of my purchasing is done at Wally World for convenience sake since it makes a one stop situation and I don’t have to brave the lunatic cell phone talking stop sign running drivers by going other places. January 2011, I spent a total of 897 dollars at Wally for food, gasoline, clothing and some medicines. This past January the amount was 1357 dollars and our buying habits have not changed one iota since the previous year. That is a lot more than the meager 2.2 percent they claim.

      • SurvivorDan says:

        Chairman Mao…..I mean Bernanke is just looking out for us ……’the useful idiots’. God bless the Liberals cuz they’re smarter folks than the rest of us fly-over-country hicks (clinging to our guns and bibles) and will guide us so that soon everyone will have an equal share.
        Of course some of THEM will be more equal than the rest of us.

      • Hunker-Down says:

        Tinfoil Hat,

        Yeah, uncle Bernie has a lot of really sophistickated statisticians. We should trust them!

    • Hunker-Down,

      Here’s a recipe. Reconstitute your apples and make them up like you would apple pie filling. Spray glass pan (9 x 12) with cooking spray (or use oil). Reconstitute the equivalent of two sticks butter.

      Dump apple pie filling in pan. Dump box of butter recipe cake mix (or make from scratch) on top of the apple pie filling. (You literally just dump the dry cake mix on the apple filling.) Then pour reconstituted butter on cake mix.

      Bake at 350 for 40 min. or until top is brown.

      I use this for peach cobbler all the time. But instead of apples I use canned peaches. Yum.

      • SurvivorDan says:

        Sounds good BamBam. Will ‘speriment. Peaches………

      • Hunker-Down says:

        Bam Bam,

        Thanks for the recipe. We canned peaches last year and will use them AND the apples!

        In the case of apples, they will be dry from the dehydration but the peaches are in light syrup.

        Now I’m going to display my superior kitchen knowledge with just a few questions;

        Do the canned peaches need to be drained?
        What do you do with the juice?
        How to make apple pie filling?
        Whats a ‘butter recipe cake mix’?

        Tinfoil Hat, LOL I know I’m a dork, you need not remind me. Financial math I can do on my fingers but kitchen math is befuddling.

        • H-D,

          You crack me up. Here are the answers to your questions.

          Do the canned peaches need to be drained?

          You will want to drain off about half the liquid from the peaches.

          What do you do with the juice?

          Drink it.

          How to make apple pie filling?

          The recipe is in the Wolf Pack Cookbook. It’s really pretty easy.

          Whats a ‘butter recipe cake mix’?

          When you are in the grocery store looking at all the cake mixes, you will see chocolate, yellow, white, etc. Butter recipe is just another kind of mix.

      • Soggy Prepper says:

        We make something similar to that. We just call it Dump Cake. Works awesome in a dutch oven while camping too! You get all sorts of people walking by saying, “I smell cake!” lol

        Dutch Oven Dump Cake

        1 box white or yellow cake mix
        1 can fruit cocktail or other canned fruit
        1 stick margarine or butter

        Pour fruit in cast iron Dutch oven. Sprinkle dry cake mix over fruit. Dot margarine on top of cake mix. Cover tightly, set in coals of campfire, putting coals on lid also, and let cook until cake is lightly browned.

        Rotate Dutch oven one quarter turn every 15 minutes for even cooking.

        If you use chocolate cake mix and add a can of cherrys is like black forest cherry cake. Top with some whip cream and it’s Heaven! mmmmm

        • Soggy Prepper…….
          Exact same thing, but with peaches some Mountain Dew and cinnamon and you have a peach cobbler. The high point of any camping trip. Love those Dutch Ovens!

    • SurvivorDan says:

      Caught Jiff and store brand on sale in Frye’s store. Bought a lot…a LOT…. of peanut butter. Mrs. SurvivorDan is annoyed with me about the amount involved . But as she loves peanut butter, in the event of TEOTWAWKI, I will secretly cache it and dole it out to her as long as she pleases me. I will be the KING! Or not……..

      • Survivor Dan,

        Just how much peanut butter did you buy? LOL If it’s more than 20 jars, maybe Mrs. Survivor Dan has reason to be annoyed with you. As I recall, the best buy date on peanut butter is two years. LOL

    • …..”hiding from the chicken czar”. I thought she was hiding from me?

    • Kelekona says:

      Isn’t peanut butter up because of a poor crop? If it stays up next year, I’d be willing to flip a coin between “greedy corporation getting away with it because consumers are now used to the price” or inflation.

      I can still get chicken at my price limit, though not every week. This calls for lots of math.

    • BamaBecca says:

      Thanks for the recipe bamBam. I’ll have to try that one. For cobblers (any type) I’ve always just used the recipe my grandmother and mom used. A cup of milk, cup of flour, cup of sugar and a cup of whatever fruit you want, plus half a stick of margarine. If you want a bigger cobbler just double or triple the ingredients. Turns out perfect every time.

  14. Great article!

    • I am a new prepper and love this sight! I have been trying some of the ideas I’ve found here. We have been stocking up but I am also using what we stock to learn to cook with them. Just made a chicken pot pie in my dutch oven. It was great!! So loved this article about using what you a storing. I still have a lot to learn and love the “what did you prep”. So glad you are here!!

  15. I really like this article. There really is a learning curve to learning how to cook exclusively from shelf stable ingredients. Stocking condiments is so important. They can make meals made of the basics really very good.

  16. Excellent article. We were just talking about what we were going to make with wheat and how we were going to make it. DW knows how to make dough for various foods but we have never baked bread. We have also never pulled any of our wheat, ground it and then made a meal from it. I guess I know what we’re going to do this week. One more food staple for us will be potatoes. Many different meals can be made with potatoes. Reminded me to go pick up the honey today. Thanks

  17. NewNormal says:

    This speaks to what I’ve been thinking for awhile. My husband and I started thinking about prepping about 6 months ago and so I started reading up. I didn’t understand what the obsession was with wheat. And then there are the dried beans and the like. If water is in short supply water usage for cooking should be minimal. We finally took the plunge a few weeks ago when the local market had canned beans for 60 cents a can. We went through the stock and found cans that were good for 2 years. Canned beans need no extra water for cooking and you could eat them cold if needed. We have also invested in canned mix vegetables. We will rotate the stock as neeeded. We also found a bargain on jugs of water. The nursey water for babies contains floride so you can help keep your teeth healthy in a longer term situation. Believe it or not this water can be cheaper than the name brand spring water. We are also stocking tomato sauce and dried pasta. Getting carbs from the pasta I won’t need bread. We are thinking about investing in some dehydrated food packs for last resort. I don’t want to concentrate on any one scenario. Instead I’m thinking of all of the pleasures and conviences we have and come up with at least 1 if not 2 ways to replace it.

    • cooolwoods says:

      http://naturalsociety.com/breaking-fluoride-linked-to-1-cause-of-death-in-new-research/

      http://www.ehow.com/about_6544969_fluoride-rat-poison.html#ixzz1ji2Y5426

      NewNormal, congrats on starting to prep!
      there’s alot more to preping than food, staying/getting healthy is important too. I personally dont stock anything with fluoride.
      toms of maine has a wonderful tooth paste thats fluoride free and wally world carries it.

      The ‘dental caries prevention myth’ associated with fluoride, originated in the United States in 1939, when a scientist named Gerald J. Cox, employed by ALCOA, the largest producer of toxic fluoride waste and at the time being threatened by fluoride damage claims, fluoridated some lab rats, concluded that fluoride reduced cavities and claimed that it should be added to the nation’s water supplies. In 1947, Oscar R. Ewing, a long time ALCOA lawyer, was appointed head of the Federal Security Agency , a position that placed him in charge of the Public Health Service(PHS). Over the next three years, eighty-seven new American cities began fluoridating their water, including the control city in a water fluoridation study in Michigan, thus eliminating the most scientifically objective test of safety and benefit before it was ever completed.

      American ‘education and research’ was funded by the Aluminum Manufacturing, Fertilizer and Weapons Industry looking for an outlet for the increasingly mounting fluoride industrial waste while attaining positive profit increase. The ‘discovery’ that fluoride benefited teeth, was paid for by industry that needed to be able to defend “lawsuits from workers and communities poisoned by industrial fluoride emissions” (Bryson 1995) and turn a liability into an asset. Fluoride, a waste constituent in the manufacturing processes of explosives, fertilizers and other ‘necessities’, was expensive to dispose of properly and until a ‘use’ was found for it in America’s water supplies, the substance was only considered a toxic, hazardous waste. Through sly public re-education, fluoride, once a waste product, became the active ingredient in fluorinated pesticides, fungicides, rodenticides, anesthetics, tranquilizers, fluorinated pharmaceuticals, and a number of industrial and domestic products, fluorinated dental gels, rinses and toothpastes. Fluoride is so much a part of a multibillion-dollar industrial and pharmaceutical income, that any withdrawal of support from pro-fluoridationists is financially impossible, legally unthinkable and potentially devastating for their career and reputation.

      stay safe

  18. livinglife says:

    Something the Mesopotamian people discovered was grain that had started to germinate was better tasting (sweeter) and more nutritious (malted barley/wheat). To stop the germination process the grain was heated or sun dried. Often it was clumped together into loaves (bapir) and baked. Shelf stable in dry climates,when needed crushed and then it was then used for brewing beer, the spent grain is fully edible and still nutritious.
    Beer is great for trading material, it can also be distilled into alcohol, sterilizing, fuel, solvent or drinking.

    I would add a variety of spices to any long term food pantry. Add things you normally avoid, a little variety is good and it makes the usual seem even better after.

  19. Great Article. Thanks very much. Cold Warrior mentioned having to watch the Mountain House cans for rust. Is this a problem peculiar to MH? I ask because over the past few months I’ve ordered a bunch of their products. I immediately put them in a climate controlled storage unit until I move in about another 12 months. Since I am kind of in transition I only checked the boxes for damages but didn’t do a rust inspection. Any advice will be appreciated. Also, I saw on Mr. Rawles blog an advertisement for this company that sells bags and other paraphnalia to “extra seal” MH cans and ensure against rust. The price was pretty pricey and it sounded like a gimmick to me. Any thoughts?

    • I have been using a spray can of polyurethane varnish on a long term test of preserving cans and so far it looks like it will do the trick. Clear Krylon spray works good for sealing but since it is not as soft as polyurethane it does not withstand the knocks and nicks like the polyurethane does. Also a test in California’s high desert when I lived there for eleven years in the 80’s and 90’s proved it was more resilient and lasting coating from the constant sand laden breezes. We considered a thirty mph wind to be a mild breeze up there and it does not take long for paint or anything else to be sanded off. The polurethane paint on the yard furniture and even the plastic lawn chairs I painted lasted much longer than my nieghbors who did not paint hers. As a matter of fact when we left in 1991, she came over and asked for the lawn furniture for her home. I would like to know how long it lasted for her. I would coat my cans with the varnish after washing them thoroughly to make sure there was no oil on the surface (even a bare hand leaves oil) and then spray them generously with the polyurethane varnish available practically everywhere paint is sold.

      • Soggy Prepper says:

        Did you just paint over the labels on the cans?

        • No I removed the labels after I identified the contents, run number and best if used by date with a permanent marker on the can top.

  20. Thanks for the article Sioux. I was putting the recipes off, but I need to start planning what to make. I need to come up with something to put in my Ramon noodles. Don”t want the MSG in their. Maybe I should taste test some seaonall in it. I also should write down phone numbers of the survival companies I order dried foods from, in case I lose my internet and I can call them. I ordered the Wolf Pack cookbook, but I don”t know if I did that right since it is a E-book. Not much for thee computer. Peace, I hope your happy in Heaven chicken man.

    • Kelekona says:

      Ramen noodles are one of those “off diet” exceptions that I do eat simply because they seem like the cheapest garbage food available. Plus I am nostalgic/some related emotion for them and can’t seem to make a similarly convenient version from scratch.

      I go a bit fancy with them, and my most-used add-in recipe is half V8 half water, a good chunk of frozen spinach, a lot of Louisiana hot sauce, two spoonfuls of natural peanut butter, and a poached egg.

      A good spoonful or half a can of campbell’s cream soup also sounds like a good base.

      I used to eat a lot of the $1 ramen meals. One packet looked like a liquid concentrate similar to ramen’s powdered soup base, the other packet was much like a dehydrated version of frozen soup vegetables.

      I think a standard substitute for a soup packet is to use a ketchup packet… or perhaps that was no’money tomato soup.

      • Soggy Prepper says:

        We add vegies to top ramen and make it a stir fry like chow mein. Actually pretty good as dinner food then.
        One of my kids could live off top ramen, we have quite a bit stored.

  21. SurvivorDan says:

    Good post Sioux. Folks have starved themselves rather than eat the same old stuff month after month. Good warning.

  22. Sioux0624, I love this article!

    My main focus has been on scratch cooking skills and replacing processed foods in my pantry with whole food staples. Your thoughtful post helps me step back and see how to weave it all together. Love how you contrasted basic meals and prepared meals.

    As for your question, if a disaster happened today and I had to make dinner from stored rice, I’d boil water on the camp stove and cook up rice with my dehydrated veggies and a piece of chipped salmon jerky–and then fry it in sesame oil and soy sauce with eggs and whatever other produce in the fridge needed to be used up.

    Thank you for your helpful, thought-provoking article.

  23. Great, informative article. Thank you!

  24. This whole idea used to scare me. What will I do with a sack of dried beans or wheat? So, I slowly started to incorporate those items into my meal planning. for example, I have long term storage (25+ years) of #10 cans and buckets of beans. But I just buy the 1-lb bags at the store to prepare them, I make homemade baked beans, and while I may not have ingredients to make them during a SHTF scenario, I now know how to sort, soak and cook beans. I have ground wheat, and made bread. But now I buy whole wheat flour and make bread (just this morning I baked sourdough bread — 2 loaves!)… but I also have sprouted wheat, and have a specific wheat grass juicer.

    I also have made sure that I have plenty of just add water meals from Mountain House, WISE foods, MREs, etc. for those days when I don’t feel like cooking. And I have cooked with my solar oven.

    So, this is super important, and while I have been prepping for only 3 years, I am not afraid of beans, rice, wheat, etc like I used to be. It takes baby steps, learning one skill, then moving on to the next. I have a ton of spices, herbs, etc but also have been experimenting with drying my own herbs, making tinctures (for flavoring, in the case of rosemary or oregano, and for medicinal purposes for echinacea, etc.). I am by no means an expert… yet! But I am confident my skills will improve over the next months.

    I want to learn edible plants, roots, etc. and how to prepare them. That is one thing that I want to do next. I have a book, but like so many people have said for years, having a book doesn’t mean you can do it. So, I plan on studying, and PRACTICING. And slowly as my confidence grows, expand from my backyard to the natural parks and forests around here. Just because I am done with college doesn’t mean learning has to stop!

    So… take it slow, don’t let it intimidate you. One step at a time. I am still not 100% confident in my meal preparations, but I am so much closer than I used to be.

  25. Suburban Housewife says:

    Geesh – I just love you people! I get so much encouragement and good idea and help here.

    This article hits the nail on he head for me and is exactly what I am hoping to do. As much as is possible I’d like to not have 2 very different ways of eating, now and then different in emergency. But being organic vegan now makes it a challenge. None of the companies that offer food storage advertise non-gmo or organic or even that it is pesticide or chemical free. I have so much to learn.

    As far as having the wheat and not a grain mill I have done just the opposite. I bought my hand crank grin mill back in late 60’s or early 70’s.. . I’ve never used it because I never bought the wheat! Never could decide on what kind to buy so never bought any! LOL – I plan to go dig it out of storage this weekend.

    Now I am off to hunt for that Wolf Pack cook book.

  26. I loved this post too! I’d realized a few months ago that I needed to experiment with our meals using what I’ve stored.

    I’ve been canning (pressure canner) meats and various dried beans with meat plus butter lately. The other night I made dinner from only what’s in my stockpile. My hubby was thrilled with the results.

    I agree completely with storing the ‘extras’ like spices and herbs. They make a world of difference. I’ve even put together a 5 gal bucket of sweet treats (candy and gum) along with all the cocoa etc.

    I do have quite a bit of wheat and I make breads from that. Have sprouted and am growing some for our cat, who loves it. I’m going to try drying some corn this summer (if it ever gets here).

    An old sailor who lives on his sailboat year round since 1968 and visits many countries told me the most important thing when storing food is to have your favorite condiments. So, the summer bbq season is headed this way and all that lovely stuff should be on sale. Save your coupons and stock up when they are offered at the lowest price.

    Again, I loved this post!

    • Just a short note about spices, etc. For years I have been saving the sauce packets and seasonings from fast food when they got left in the car. I usually keep them in a large gallon glass screw top jar and have only labeled the lid as to the year. The other day when I ran out of my favorite Taco Bell brand mild taco sauce that I buy in the bottle size, I went to the sauce jar and the one labeled 1998 I pulled a couple of the packets of the Taco bell mild sauce and it was just as good as the day it was packaged. I see no deterioration when kept in the jar and the lid screwed on tightly so I will keep checking them frequently to see if I can figure out a good to date.

      • BamaBecca says:

        lol, Harold, I thought I was the only one who saved all those little packages! DH calls me a cheapskate for doing it, but I have seen times when those little pkts of ketchup were ALL the ketchup I had! Plus, they are perfect for packed lunches.

  27. cooolwoods says:

    good article!
    if disaster happened today? we would try to use up the perishables in the fridge before they went bad. after that not too much of a change, we store what we eat. fresh milk would be powdered ect…cooking would be camp stove,the grille ((has side burner)10 spare tanks)),alcohol stoves from the ghb’s lots of fuel for them too.
    water? the tap water here sucks (smelly well). I already bring in gallons of water everyday from the spring.
    laundry would be a pain

    stay safe

  28. Prep Now [ so.fl.] says:

    Great article. Far too many buy stuff and can’t use it afterwards. We have been using what many would call “prepper” food at home for about 20 years now, but had never tried to grow a thing. This year it was “learn to grow” from seed , spices, greens, veggies, herbs, etc,etc,,. most of it has produced though the bugs down here are a real challenge. Also bought a large collection of canning jars, canned some meats and have enough jars to can up everything in our 22 cu.ft. freezer now, with our addition of a propane stove for the back yard canning work when we lose power and the generator runs out of gas.

    On a good news note, the NRA firearms insurance program will help pay to replace my side arm that was stolen during a break-in 4 weeks ago since my homeowners will not. Be sure to join the NRA for this coverage that is included in your membership fee. Everything else was in the safe that we had bought 6 weeks ago, or , it all would have been taken as well. We have since upgraded the alarm system, added motion sensors and cameras that begin to record when the motion or perimeter system is breached. Smile!

    Zeroed my Bushmaster .223 for the first time this week, I have had it 3 months. It performed great. Light recoil as compared to my .45LC rifle. The wife will love it.

    • worrisome says:

      From all my lessons shopping for cameras? Just one little hint. Most burglars are used to cameras being mounted high looking down, so they wear baseball caps or other hats that hide their faces. Make sure a couple of cameras are low and facing up so you can get them face full in the act of stealing from you. Just sayin…….

  29. Kelekona says:

    Technically, the only method I have for cooking without electricity is the stove. A little broader, and I do have a bag of charcoal and a small grill, some alcohol-based catering fuel, and I could plug my baby rice cooker into the car converter if I was sure that normalcy was one day away from returning.

    Admittedly, most of my food-hoarding is bent towards everything being fine except for my occasional desire to not leave the house for a month. The other two reasons for powdered milk is not leaving the house for the day, and it’s convenience for hubby’s “mix with milk” ideas of portable food.

    I have a few categories of food. There is what is in the freezer, there are the things that could survive power loss but would be hard to use during, and then there is the stuff that is edible without any modern support.

    At least half of my shelf-stable edible cold supply is in varying categories of would have to be desperate to eat it. I re-discovered this morning that wolfing an energy bar is going to make my stomach turn. The herring is okay as an occasional snack, but the tuna is more “don’t want to run out for catfood” emergency. Keeping a can or two of condensed milk is a carryover from when I was living at home and both my mother and I were picky against non-dairy creamer. (I’ve since learned that I can put powdered milk in my coffee.) Then there are things like coconut milk and tomatoes… better as ingredients but eating them whole is better than starving.

    I’m pretty much holding steady at preps for a short-term or local issue.

    • Hunker-Down says:

      Kelekona,

      I like your phrase,
      ‘food that is edible without any modern support’.
      We can use it as a filter at the grocery store.
      We are going to Sams in about 3 weeks, it will be a big help there.

  30. Soggy Prepper says:

    Very good article! Avoid food fatigue with variety. The most important idea I took from the article is Practice, practice, practice and practice some more!
    I was getting a little lax. Gona look up some more food storage recipes that fit my families taste buds and try them out on my rocket stove. Haven’t practiced on that yet. for shame.

    • cooolwoods says:

      Hi soggy prepper!
      what kind of rocket stove did you make? the 16 brick or a stove pipe in a bucket type? or something you just came up with?
      I’ve been looking into a rocket mass heater for this place.

      Stay safe

      • Soggy Prepper says:

        Those rocket stove mass heaters are way cool. I’ve seen them on youtube and such. Hey M.D., you ever think of a rocket mass heater for your place?

        We have made 2 rocket stoves, cooking on type not the heaters with the clay and piping.
        One the kids and I made out of #10 can with soup cans. It’s little, works great and we take that one camping. Small pots only and have only cooked fast type foods on it like Bear Creek soups.

        The other one we made was a popcorn tine one with spaghetti sauce/large pork and bean type cans. That one we’ve only boiled water on and cooked hot dogs over. lol

        But I liked them so much I bought a real one. I thought M.D. had them linked on this site, I’m not seeing it now though.
        But I haven’t tried out my real one. I need to practice to get a handle on the firewood sticks to use and then also the charcoal. I have it in the upstairs fireplace. I plan on using it in there when shtf. It’s vented and I’m safe inside. Kinda cramped quarters however so I need to learn how to use it outside before I fiddle with it in the small space and spill my pot.

        Good luck on your mass heater coolwoods. The rocket heaters are very functional and seem to be pretty fuel efficient.

        • cooolwoods says:

          thanks,
          we’ve came up with a few ideas, it so easy to “make” them fit a wide range of apps. I’ve seen them with copper pipe for hot water too

          satay safe

  31. BamaBecca says:

    Sioux0624, love the article! Thank you!

  32. Julie in OR says:

    Excellent post Sioux. I have learned so much on this site from everyone over the past couple of years. You are all so wonderful at sharing. Thanks again for the insite. M.D. this has to be a lot of work for you and I appreciate everything you have done to make it a success.

  33. AZ Rookie Prepper says:

    Sioux0624, thanks for a great article. Something I add to my preps is packages of dried seaweed that adds a good bit of vitamins and minerals, and when eaten with rice is a way to take the “bland” out. Asian stores/markets often carry a japanese product that is a blend of various spices and seaweed that you can sprinkle on rice too. Packets of dried gravy mix are also a weekly addition to my preps, can be added to potato, rice, meat, or noodle dishes as a bit of variety. Rice can be added to almost any soup as an extender too.

  34. My my, I have been using spices from 1990 that are still good and use. I got a gift of about 50 bottles 22 years ago. Spices can last many years beyond dates…

    .

  35. My sister and I grew up with little money in the family. Our mother always kept a lot of canned and dried food and grains on hand in case of a period without money, which did happen from to time. As a result, both of us also have kept a lot of food on hand, rotating to use up the older ones. My husband doesn’t much care it I do or don’t stock up, but her husband was always at her about her “hoarding” (It’s NOT hoarding if you use it.). Sure enough they went though a period of six weeks with no ability to buy groceries (barely able to pay the bills for electricity and water). They (two adults, four kids) continued to eat well until the crisis was over. Not another a word did he say about her keeping prepared. You learn a lot when it happens to you.

  36. Went over to WalMart last night and just inside the front doors are large racks of #10 cans of dehydrated eggs, butter, milk and “veggie stew” didn’t see the shelf life but it must be a long time. The eggs went for 23 bucks and the butter and veggie stew aroung 10 bucks each. Have never seen this in a large department store before. Bought eggs and stew for the storeage larder…

    • Wow, Sulaco. Thanks for the heads up on this one. What does it mean that Walmart is now selling long term food storage? Are that many consumers waking up to the fact that our country is in trouble?

  37. The items I have stored I know how to cook and do have water to cook them. I do want to upgrade my propane burner to a newer one. While I will eat rice as well as my husband my children still refuse to try it. My oldest is finally eating vegetables. She doesn’t really care for them but will eat them. She is encouraging her younger siblings to try and eat them too. As long as I make chili my two younger children will eat beans. I learned that I could never survive without protein in my diet daily. That as much as I dont like spam I will eat it if left with no other option. I do think it is true that most people stock things they don’t consume and don’t know how to use or cook.

    • Yeah, I had a “what was I thinking” moment with the Spam as well. Oh well, it expires in December 2014, so I have well over a year to responsibly foist it off onto a food pantry.

      I think you eat it like potted meat? Just dive in and whatever you do, don’t pay attention to what’s going in your mouth.

      • A friend of mine eats the stuff regularly, he says to fry it in the skillet after you slice it up. Taste better that way for sure. If I am hungery I’ll eat almost anything. Though I get dizzy spells without a source of protein.

        • BamaBecca says:

          Spam is VERY high in sodium content in case any of you are on a salt restricted diet. I have a good bit stocked as well. I don’t really like the taste, but my dh loves it….and I will eat it if I dont have anything else.

          You can slice it and fry it, or cube it and put in your scrambled eggs. There are tons of ways to cook it. Just google Spam recipes or go to their website.

  38. Great minds think alike Bam Bam….
    I was just wondering the same thing. These kinds of companies don’t get into anything unless they see a “mass market” there. Just think…we may be in the majority and not even know it?

    • BamaBecca says:

      I would be thrilled if our Walmart started carrying it. It would save a lot of money on shipping. Will look when I go to town tomorrow.

  39. Humm the stock of #10 cans of dehy food at my WalMart almost sold out in less than 48 hours! They must know now they are on to something….

  40. Has anyone noticed beans and rice are empty most times on walmart shelves?