Today’s non-fiction writing contest entry; “What do you use to store your preps in?” was written By Trish
We all have various ways to store our preps for various scenarios. Most of us purchase our storage outright from whatever store we like. But what about recycling the plastic storage we find with other items.
I’m a strong believer in trying to recycle “stuff” that most would throw in the landfill. My oldest son is beginning to catch on that mom is not going to throw something away if it can be used for another purpose, especially for prep storage! When I have enough, I find someone else who could use them, or recycle them if they can be recycled. I’ve also included some of the other store purchased containers I’m using.
Packaged lunch meat containers
These are mostly the Ziploc type storage boxes. They are washable and reusable. I use these for small items like matches or tea/votive candles, or sewing items like thread, needles and small collapsible scissors, and other small items, or for personalized first aid kits to be put in bug-out-bags. I also use them to store small similar items in bigger containers that we have for the various categories in our main storage. They can also be used in a pinch for pet food and water, dishes to eat in, gathering water, and other things in a SHTF scenario.
Other Small Plastic containers
I have a thing for the instant cappuccino…..not the small cans, though those can be used for storage of small items, too, but they are metal, and can rust. I buy the Hill’s Brothers brand cappuccino in English Toffee flavor. (One of my indulgences,) These are red plastic boxes with a gold lid. It makes a good container for a first aid kit and easy to find.
The only drawback I have found with these for storage is that the lids can come off easily, but some duct or masking tape works wonders to keep the lids on. I’ve currently got a lighting “kit” in them consisting of tea and votive candles, lighter, and a small box of matches. I currently have eight of them…..one for each of us to use in any situation, but I’m going to do a few more just in case.
Plus I’ve also made personal first aid kits in these.
Empty mechanical pencil lead containers are awesome for putting needles and pins in to keep you from being poked by them in your BOB or INCH bag. These are hard plastic. Some have sliding lids and others have pull off lids.
Empty M&M cylinder tubes and medicine bottles (with the labels removed, then washed and dried) can be used for small items like dice and playing pieces for board games, small batteries (AA and AAA), lint or small pieces of steel wool for fire starting, jewelry, and other small or tiny items that you don’t want to lose. You can put them in another container or vacuum seal them.
I have some of my parent’s empty bottles and some of the M&M cylinder containers with lint in them to start fires that I vacuum sealed. I divided some of the large bags lengthwise into 3 compartments, sealed the bottom, put in an M&M tube into each section, then vacuum sealed closed. You can do the same with the medicine bottles, just figure out how many bottles you can put into the vacuum bags. One container can be cut free by cutting next to the seal, leaving the other container sealed closed in the vacuum bag.
Butter, cottage cheese, and other food containers are good for storing things like nuts, bolts, washers, small spools of wire, nails, batteries, duct tape, scotch tape, and other small items. Like the cappuccino containers, a little duct tape will keep the lids securely on the container.
I’m going to vacuum seal these containers in my food saver to keep moisture out as well as keep the contents in the box, adding desiccant packs to them to take care of any moisture that may be in the containers before they are vacuum sealed.
I know most don’t smoke or use e-cigarettes, but a lot of these come in hard plastic containers that could be used for storing fish line, hooks and sinkers in them, and be used to wrap the line around for fishing purposes. Casting, like for fly fishing, would be difficult using the case for the reel. This set up would probably be best suited for “off the bridge” fishing where you can just drop your weighted line off a bridge or pier to fish.
Kitty litter buckets
OMG! We go through two buckets/jugs of kitty litter a month for the two cats we have in the house. I used to throw them away, but in the last three years….most of them are kept and are used for something. Talk about handy storage and a multitude of uses! They may not have a sturdy hinge or a super locking lid, but they are awesome for a lot of things and come in various sizes and types. And since these are plastic, they stack well, and, they are relatively waterproof! They can also be used as seating if you need it in short term situation (a pad or pillow would be suggested to put on the lid).
Storing food in them is not suggested, but you can store just about anything else in them. I have various litter buckets with similar items in them like shampoo and conditioner; shower gels and bar soaps; shaving cream/gel and razors; hair stuff like brushes, combs, mirrors, hair pins, clips, and elastic ties; “clean up” stuff like rubber gloves, work gloves, plastic drop cloths, old rags, and such for storm clean up; dish clean up that has a collapsible plastic double sink used for camping, dish soap, dish towels and sponges; one that has tools like hammers, screw drivers of various types and sizes, nails, screws, a small hand saw, and other things; towels, wash cloths (in vacuum sealed bags) and solar showers; candles, lighters and matches; old clothes that have been cut/torn into rags; sterno and sterno stoves; and there are a couple of more categories that I have that I can’t remember. Some of the categories have more than one bucket. I do have eight of them as personal bug out buckets as not everything that will be needed will fit into a bug out bag.
These are also good for using as a toilet (IF you have to) in any scenario that you don’t have running water or a facility to use. I use a short litter bucket for the car/truck emergency kits. I don’t know about any of you, but being stuck in a vehicle for three or four hours without being able to use a bathroom is not something that appeals to me.
I put most of the emergency kit in some sort of plastic box or bag so it can be removed easily so that if I have to use the bucket for a toilet it’s not a hassle….don’t forget to include the toilet paper! You could use a potty bag in the shorter litter boxes that have a removable lid. The short ones are getting harder to find at Walmart, but could probably be found at a regular grocery store.
I used kitty litter buckets during my temporary stay in Oklahoma to store water in for flushing the toilet if the electricity went out (the well wouldn’t be working). I also washed some of them out really well and bleached them to store bathing and dish washing water in. I do not suggest using the buckets for drinking water as there are chemicals that could still remain in the buckets even after washing and bleaching them, as they are not rated for safe food or drinking water storage.
Kitty litter jugs
These are stored around our house for flushing toilets in an emergency. We keep two in the second floor bathroom and the main floor bathroom has one….the rest are stored in the basement. The large jugs hold about 2 ½ gallons of water for flushing the toilets. These could also be washed out and bleached for use for bathing and dish washing. As with the kitty litter buckets….these are not suggested, nor recommended for drinking water storage.
Plastic boxes with “locking” lids
These boxes have a “lock” that comes over the lid to secure it in place. These have been a God send for me as I started buying them when I was traveling between Illinois and Oklahoma at least once a month…..and it made it so much easier for me to load up the bed of the Dakota truck when I had to load it up really quick by myself when there was the threat of a wild fire near where I was temporarily living. I was proud of myself….
I actually loaded the truck in 30 minutes by myself. These boxes stack quite nicely together, come in lots of different sizes, and can be found at Walmart and Target. I have extra towels, wash cloths, sheets, blankets and pillows in big ones plus most of our back up first aid supplies in one big one with smaller boxes inside to separate items like bandages, gauze, first aid tape, scissors, and such.
Vacuum seal “Space” bags
These are somewhat good for keeping blankets, clothes, pillows, sheets and such dry. My only issue with these “Space” bags is that they sometimes do not stay sealed. I wish that Food Saver would make a larger version of their sealer, along with the larger bags for things like the blankets, etc. But, alas they don’t.
Food Saver and Bags
This is the most awesome thing I have ever purchased!! I have both sizes of bags, and have made very good use of it for prepping. If it can be ruined by moisture or dirt/dust, it goes in the food saver bags. I have divided the bags for the M&M and medicine containers with lint, bandaids of all sizes, toothbrushes, tea and coffee bags, and bar soap, and undivided for gauze pads, towels, wash cloths, small clothing items, food items (in their original boxes or bags), and even though it squishes the tubes, I’ve vacuum sealed paper towels and toilet paper to make them more compact (and waterproof) to fit into a bucket or bug out bag.
These are some of my storage solutions that I’m using for our SHTF scenarios.
Prizes for this round (ends October 20th 2014 ) in our non fiction writing contest include…
- First place winner will receive – A $500 gift certificate off of any product or products at MRE Depot!
- Second place winner will receive – a gift a gift certificate for $150 off of Winchester ammo from LuckyGunner and a Wonder Junior Deluxe grain mill courtesy of Kitchen Neads.
- Third place winner will receive – a Survival Puck courtesy of Innovation Industries and 20 Live Fire Sport – Emergency Fire Starters from LPC Survival.
- Fourth Place winner will receive – a copy of my book ”31 Days to Survival: A Complete Plan for Emergency Preparedness“ and “Dirt Cheap Survival Retreat” courtesy of TheSurvivalistBlog.net and copy of “The Survival Medicine Handbook” courtesy of www.doomandbloom.net.