Review: Shelf Reliance Can Organizer


One thing that every prepper quickly learns is that several hundred, or a couple thousand as the case may be, cans of food takes up a LOT of space and create a rotation management mess!  Unless you’re keeping those cans shrink wrapped in a case (thank you case lot sales), a shelf full of cans quickly becomes a garbled mess of who knows what in which spot – that part could actually be a personal situation caused by having 8 kids rooting around in the cans for something good to eat though.  The point is though that a good prepper has tons of cans of food and they can become cumbersome.  Enter the Shelf Reliance Food Rotation System – or the Caninator as I call it.


This puppy is able to manage several hundred cans for you, making it so you don’t need to think about rotation or organization too much.  Here’s how we use it: wrapped cases of cans are stored on shelves and are generally not touched.  Open cases are loaded into the caninator and when a can is needed for cooking, we grab one from there.  Can slots are allowed to run down (as you can see) and when they are low enough, a new case is opened and loaded in.

This unit is the Pantry 72″ model which I believe we picked up at Sam’s Club for around $250 some time back.

The Caninator features a double shelf rolling system.  You load a can on the upper shelf and it rolls down to the bottom shelf from which you can retrieve it.


The loading system makes it naturally rotate your cans and also makes it very easy to inventory so you can restock what’s been used.

The frame is made of the same material and is assembled in the same way as a metal shelving system.  The can roller shelves are made of plastic and their width is completely adjustable.  You can order additional can roller shelves online or go to their storefront and purchase them in person at 810 N 2800 W in Lindon just west of the freeway at the American Fork/Pleasant Grove exit or call them at 877-743-5373.


It does take some time to assemble the unit, but once you’re done, it’s done.

I highly recommend this product!  Once we set it up, we were able to empty two full shelves out of pantry – it is an investment well worth the money!  The other small benefit is that my younger kids love to put cans in and see how far they’ll drop.  We are currently planning on getting another Caninator to keep our existing one company and to clear out some more room.

November Utah Preparedness events

Here’s a quick list of some Prep related things going on in Utah over the next couple weeks.  If you have any to add, please add to the comments.  Any future events, please notify us, and we will include it in future postings.

Nov 22nd and 23rd

The GunShow – with a Utah Preppers meetup.

Nov 22nd

Classes from Prepare My Family

  • Held at Paradigm High School – 11577 S 3600 W  – South Jordan
  • 9:00 – 11:00 Sheltering In Place: Avian Flu, Nuclear strike … only two of the many possible scenarios that would require “Sheltering In Place” Come learn how Jim anticipates and advises others to mentally and physically prepare for this
  • 1:00 – 3:00 Arctic Boots: Assembly tips and demonstration materials will be available for purchase at class, kits are available to pre-purchase online.
  • Each class will be followed by a one hour open forum question and answer period
  • Price is $10.00 at the door.  Pre-Register for $5.00 here.
  • Future class – “Sheltering In” and PALS sleeping system Dec 13 @ Provo Library

Nov 18th (Layton), Nov 25th (Springville)

Class from Survival Solutions

  • 7:00 – 8:30 pm Emergency Papers & Financial Preparedness – Learn how to prepare yourself and your family to survive the current economic crisis.  We will have a guest lecturer from Sterling Capital.
  • Layton – 2864 N. Fairfield Rd
  • Springville – 52 West 200 South

Utah State Parks Events

Awesome Firestarter – cotton balls and vaseline

All Preppers know that in a TEOTWAWKI or WTSHTF situation or any other crisis event you’ve got to be able to start fires, especially in a Bug Out situation. We’re not talking about being able to get a spark here, we’re talking about strong tinder lighting capability. If you add moisture to the mix you’ve got an even more complicated and risky situation.

Lets say you’ve bugged out, you’ve got all your Bug Out Gear with you, and it’s been drizzling a bit. The ground is wet, found tinder is going to be wet, the only thing that might be dry is your last couple squares of toilet paper – and you’ve got to have a fire. So what do you do? You put your last precious squares of TP wadded up on the damp ground and then set your damp twigs on top of it and use one of your 27 lighters or 6 other fire starters you have in your BOB to get it going. In less than a minute your TP has burned out and the ground and twigs are still damp – and your SOL.

Enter a very simple prep – taking regular old cotton balls (100% cotton, none of that fake junk) that cost about $1.25 for a bag of 120 (that’d be the LARGE size cotton ball) and cover them with Vaseline which costs about $3.00 for a good size jar. Now you’ve got a very compact and light-weight water resistant starter that will burn strong for several minutes.

Here’s the step-by-step and a demo:

Transfer the cotton balls into a decent container – we used ziploc sandwich bags.


Put a handful of Vaseline into each bag and seal with a bit of air in them.


Knead the cotton into the Vaseline until each ball in the bag is covered nicely (this takes a little bit of time)


Voila! You just made a baggie full of really killer fire starter. We made up a few.


There are dozens of ways to make these, this just illustrates what I’ve found useful and easy. One of these baggies will go into mine and each kids Bug Out Bag (BOB) with several baggies going into my regular long-term storage. There are lots of ways to store them too, right now I’m just storing them in their baggie.

To light the ball, you rip it part way open to expose the inner threads of cotton and spark against them. They ignite very quickly and the rest of the ball acts like a candle due to the vaseline covering. Once the ball has sat in jelly for a few days it will be water resistant.

For about $14.00 we just put 600 reliable fire starters into our storage – not bad at all!

This video demonstrates how long and how well the cotton ball burns once it’s covered in jelly, the other balls in this video are plain ole regular cotton balls.

In the video I’m lighting the cotton ball with a
BlastMatch which is by far my favorite sparker of all time – grab one here if you don’t have one!

Don’t be caught without the ability to easily and reliably make fire! Take the little amount of time and money these puppies require and you’ll always have the security of reliably starting many fires.

– Phil801

Crossroads of the West Gunshow, Salt Lake City Utah Meetup – Nov 2008

In conjunction with GeeksNGuns, we’re going to organize a meet-up opportunity at the gunshow this weekend!

Here are the details on the show:

Crossroads of the West Gunshow, Salt Lake City, Utah

Dates: November 22nd – 23rd

Time: Sat 9 am – 5 pm, Sun 9 am – 4 pm

Location: South Towne Expo Center (click for directions)

Admission: $10.00

– Get a $1.00 off gunshow admission coupon here

Meetup Plans:

We’re going to meet at 9:00 INSIDE the show.  We’ll gather at the northern entrance door and head into the show.

Parking at the show usually stinks when there’s NOT a rush – which there is sure to be this year – so get there, get parked, give’m your ticket and we’ll meet you inside!

We’ll probably try to setup a shoot meet-up as well – I know if I can get the guns I’m after I’m going to want to go fire them!  We’ll have details on that shortly.

You don’t have to RSVP to come but if you do we’ll know to watch and wait for you before we head into the show.  See you there!

Canning (bottling) Chicken

One important and often difficult to achieve aspect of a good food storage plan is meat.  My strategy had always been to purchase canned meat at the grocery store or through group buys, but that gets pretty expensive!  We recently learned about and tried bottling chicken.  I had heard about it but it sounded like it was probably a huge job.  Then Mom told me a couple weeks ago that it was really easy – she was right (of course)!

Here’s the simple description for bottling chicken: cut it up into 1 inch square chunks, put 1/2 tsp salt in bottom of bottles, put chicken in bottles, pressure cook it for 90 minutes.  That’s it, super easy!

But, that’s too short of a blog post so here is the photo essay of how to can or bottle chicken.  Incidentally, I’ve been told that you follow the same procedure to bottle beef, venison, elk, any meat.

To start with, we bought 80 pounds of raw skinless boneless chicken breasts from a great sale at Macey’s – at $1.19/pound.  Fortunately for me, I have lots of kids who can help out, makes a big job happen quickly.

Here we are cleaning fat off the chicken and cutting up the breasts:

The meat needs to be cut into about 1 inch square chunks:

Here is what 80 pounds of chicken looks like all ready to be bottled (notice the quart jar for perspective):

The next step is to put 1/2 teaspoon of salt in the bottom of the jar (you can add whatever seasoning you like) then fill the jar with chicken to about 1 inch below the top and load them into the pressure cooker:

Heat up the cookers on high until they start rocking, then back off the heat until you get 3 rocks a minute, in the mountain region cook at 15 pounds of pressure.  Maintain 3 rocks/minute for 90 minutes (time starts after first rock).

After 90 minutes of cooking, turn off the heat and let the cookers sit for 30 minutes – DO NOT open them before hand, they’ll blow up!  After 30 minutes, remove the rocker, if it hisses you still have pressure – WAIT until it doesn’t hiss!

We averaged 2 pounds of chicken per bottle giving us 40 bottles:

Notice in the picture that there is liquid in the jars – that’s broth baby!  You don’t put any water in them at all, the cooking process fills the bottle up with juice.

After all our hard work we feasted on a bottle – it was delicious!  The fully cooked chicken comes out of the bottles and falls apart and tastes wonderful.

So, let’s calculate.  For about $2.50 on sale, you can buy a small tuna size can of chicken that weighs 10 ounces.  We’ve got about 32 ounces in each jar, giving us a little more than 3 cans in each jar.  That puts an equivalent value of $7.50 on each jar and we got 40 jars worth.  That gives us $300.00 equivalent value of chicken – and it costs us $110.00 – $80 for the chicken and $30 for the jars.  So we saved about $190.00 and ended up with a lot of chicken for storage!

Next up for us is to do this with hamburger.  I have about 80 boxes of hamburger helper in storage – my goal is to have a bottle of already cooked hamburger to go with each box.

– Phil801