It put a few things into perspective for me. Of course you should go read the post, but the basic rundown for me was that the minimum amount of food for longer term survival comes in the form of 1/4 cup of rice, and another 1/4 cup of beans, in dried form. How much is a quarter cup, really? We all have measuring cups that size, go check it out. It is really little.
This should give us all some hope for the possibility of storing enough for ourselves. A 25lb bag each of beans and rice gives just over 300 days of *minimal* sustenance! Not only does that show us how easy it can be to get started, but as the poster notes, that also gives us a great understanding of how we can provide some charity in the worst of situations. I know I plan the food for my family, and in the worst of cases, I would need to focus on keeping those resources for my family. But inside we all want to help others. Even if we’re not giving much, just a quarter-cup of dried beans and rice can keep a person alive. Understanding that from our side makes it easier to share.
Now you need to learn how to make the best use *of* that little amount.
We recently covered the step-by-step process of storing food in Mylar Bags and went over some of the advantages of them, key of which is protection from air and moisture. It’s pretty clear that you can store most any dry food in Mylar Bags, but what else can be stored in them? A Mylar Bag is an easily portable, strong, waterproof bag – there are lots of things you can store in them! Here are a few ideas (we welcome any other ideas!):
Cough Drops – wintering TEOTWAWKI will probably lead to a cough or two, better be prepared for it! We purchased 20 bags of 50 cough drops each from the dollar store. Each Mylar Bag received 2 big handfuls of drops. The normal shelf life of a Halls cough drop is 2 years. I think I’ve probably at least doubled that by storing them this way.
For several years I lived in the amazing country of Brasil (yes, that’s how to spell it right :) ).
One of the many things I learned while living there was about a product called the Cesta Básica (Basket of Basics). This product is the lifeblood of many Brasilian families, making up the core of their grocery shopping. What it is, is simple. It is a package containing an assortment of basic food items, designed to meet the basic needs for a given amount of time. Which products it contains, and how much would vary by store, but largely were the same. This was an extremely common item for several reasons. The first of which is the basic brasileiro’s diet, which starts with beans and rice, and almost anything else is extra. Which type of beans was largely a regional choice as the default, but alternative ‘versions’ of the packages could easily be found if you preferred another regions flavor.
Here in Utah it is very common to have a basement, often fully finished. My house is no exception. Our basement is around 2,000 square feet with only two finished rooms, both bedrooms. The previous owner of our home had ducting installed to heat the downstairs, but to do so would require another furnace which they apparently decided to set up in the closet of one of the two bedrooms.
I suspect that most readers of this blog are more intelligent than the average reality show addicted, talking head worshiping American that thinks that everything going on in the world and economy right now is just a hiccup that will go away in the spring. You know, the ones that we preppers are pretty sure we’re going to have to fight off from killing us and stealing our preps WTSHTF. But, just in case any of you are slightly toeing the line with the popular hero-worshiping of the Socialistic head of the ‘Office of the President Elect’ thinking somehow he’s going to Change anything but his mind, or that somehow he’s going to bring Hope to the country – I bring you this.
There are very few mainstream articles being published right now that are presenting a realistic top-down view of the entire situation with the economy. The quotes I’m going to present to you here are from mainstream publications but the key point of them is that these are quotes from high level analysts and executives in widely respected financial companies who are remarking that things are bad, very bad and they are going to get much worse.
Today they have a great write-up on canning food you’ve purchased in #10 cans. They have several pictures that walk you through the process of using a canner at home to dry pack food you’ve purchased at the store. This can be wheat, rice, pasta, sugar, salt, or any other dry food you can buy in bulk.
One of my favorite comfort foods to have around is cheese. While I do not consider myself any kind of cheese-snob by any means, I do have several varieties that I like to have on hand (Cheddar, Jack, Gouda, to name a few), and really care about the flavor and texture of those cheeses. These cheeses make up a very important part of my regular diet, and having to go without them would not only cause me and mine to feel the lack of something, but our bodies would probably quickly notice it, and our digestion would likely suffer.
An important piece of any Bug out Kit is a way to make a whole lot of noise. You need some way to create some attention-getting noise that can really travel the distance. This tool is a way to get the attention of a search party if you are lost or injured, as well as a way of helping find somebody who is lost. But all whistles are not created equal. Some are bulky, some are tiny, some have Pea’s, some don’t. How do you know which you should get? Well, I was recently pointed to a site via edcforums to an excellent PSK whistle review (PSK). Go check it out before you buy your whistle, it’ll help in selecting.
I’d like to link today to a great post by a friend of mine, Jordan Gunderson. I’ve known Jordy for a few years now through our local geek community, and was ever so proud when recently he had told me about how his family had been dedicating themselves to getting their three-month, then year’s supply of food in place. He had obviously put in some good thought and research into things, much like any geek will do when dedicating themselves to solving a problem.
This is a habit I got myself into a long time ago. It’s a fairly simple principle – if you do at LEAST one small thing to prep every single day, it will all add up very quickly! Following this principle, I make sure that every day I’ve done something to prep. It might be as simple as fill a 2 liter bottle with water or doing a quick visual inventory and making a mental checklist of what I need to pick up at the store soon. Other (funner) days it’s something much more complex like stocking up on medical supplies, buying another gas can, filling it and putting it with the others.