3 Long-Term Food Storage Tips for Survivalists

3 Long-Term Food Storage Tips for Survivalists

Most of you have seen McDonald’s food experiments in which hamburgers and fries look exactly the same years after sitting around at room temperature. Even insects and fungus won’t eat these “frankenfoods,” so they last seemingly forever regardless of environmental conditions. But to survive a societal breakdown, it’s essential we preserve real food correctly. There are three primary ways to preserve food long-term, while keeping it readily available to consume.

Freeze Drying

Astronauts, military personnel and members of various other groups adopted freeze-dried foods as common cuisine soon after the process (technically called lyophilization) became widespread during World War II. Nestle first introduced its Nescafe freeze-dried coffee in 1938, which led to several other companies introducing similar products.

Freeze drying entails using dry ice, liquid nitrogen or some other refrigeration method. The frozen products are then placed inside a vacuum apparatus that removes nearly all of its water. No preservatives are needed, because there is no moisture present for fungus, bacteria or other microbes to thrive. Conversely, dehydrated foods have only 50 percent or less of water removed. Thus the shelf life of freeze-dried foods can extend up to 30 years, whereas dehydrated food lasts anywhere from one to eight years.

Though freeze-drying is a great way to preserve and store food, it’s also very expensive. A home freeze-drying unit costs around $4,000. Those who are serious about this method of food storage and preservation should search Alibaba.com for deals on home freeze-drying units.


There are two basic types of canning: water bath and pressure. Highly acidic foods such as fruits, jams, pickles and condiments are best preserved by the water bath method. Pressure canning is for meats.

The key to effective water canning lies in the jars themselves. Make certain there are no cracks, rough rims or anything that will prevent the jars from being sealed properly. The process starts by heating the jars so you can add hot food to them without the risk of cracking. Prepared foods are then put in jars, air bubbles are removed as necessary, and then the heating process finishes it. It’s best to watch a few videos if you’ve never done any canning before.

Pressure canning is similar to water bathing, but again, it’s best to watch a video or two on it first. But pressure canning is simple enough to do with minimal tools and power. It’s especially useful for those who raise chickens, rabbits and other meat animals.


Ready-to-eat, well-preserved food provides convenient meals that are a lot easier to prepare than you might think. Whether making beef, chicken, turkey or even fish jerky, the process is the same.

Your meat should be lean and cut into 1/4-inch-thick strips. The marinade is entirely up to you, but Worcester and soy sauce, along with salt and pepper are typically enough. Let it all sit for at least 24 hours. You can cook the meat in one of two ways: directly on your oven rack and baked at 140 degrees Fahrenheit, or in an at-home food dehydrator. Cooking time will span two to six hours. When you’re done, you’ll have fresh jerky that will keep for years.

Long-term food storage and preparation gives you a feeling of freedom and liberty like nothing else. It also happens to be a fun, enlightening activity.

The preceding article was a guest contribution to thepreparedninja.com.

Monday Mania – 10.5.2015

In this weeks edition of Monday Mania: Why Buy Books When We Have The Internet?, How To Store Fuel For Emergencies, Clothing You NEED To Be Prepared, How To Avoid Getting Trapped In Your Office Building, Create Your Own Altoids Tin Seed Vaults, and 6 more.

Monday Mania

I’m not in a chatty mood at the moment so I will get right to it. Things are bad. Plain and simple. I have always suffered from being a pessimist but I almost feel somewhat justified by how things are going right now. Some of my concerns include:

  • A crappy global economy.
  • Jobs being shipped overseas.
  • Uncontrolled government spending.
  • America is a net import country and it’s only getting worse.
  • Outrageous and undeserved entitlements.
  • Genetically modified foods.
  • Growing food to make into things other than food.
  • Government regulations that increasingly prevent citizens from doing…almost anything.
  • Societal unrest.
  • Mistrust of the police in some areas.
  • Misuse of government regulations to pursue an agenda.
  • The implementation of executive orders to achieve an agenda.
  • The use of the media by the government to be a mouthpiece for propaganda.
  • Government funding used overseas in breathtaking amounts and not usually in a way that will benefit the nation.
  • Reduction of the end strength of the military with ongoing to commitments overseas, including two wars that have been officially ended but we continue to fight in them anyway.
  • The fact that we allowed ISIS to turn into what it is today.
  • Our open borders that continue to have people filter rapidly through them. Many believe it is people from Mexico but that is not the case. Mexicans don’t leave prayer rugs and copies of the Quran in the desert.
  • Obamacare
  • The Eavesdroppers (NSA, CIA, and Assorted Friends)
  • The grand illusion that politicians actually care about what their constituents think and what their desires are.
  • Militarized police forces who now have the equipment that is the equivalent to the that of the modern fighting force in the military.
  • Disappearing liberty and personal freedoms a la Patriot Act.
  • And just because…The TSA

If at least a few of those things don’t scare you, then you are part of the problem.

Don’t forget to smile!


Why Buy Books When We Have The Internet?

How To Store Fuel For Emergencies

Clothing You NEED To Be Prepared

How To Avoid Getting Trapped In Your Office Building

Create Your Own Altoids Tin Seed Vaults

13 Reasons A Rural Survival Retreat May Not Be the Safe Refuge You Might Think

The Finer Points Of Pocket Knives


South Carolina Woman Makes Sure To Grab ‘Two Totino’s Pizzas’ Before Evacuating Dangerous Flood Waters

Oregon Shooter’s Father Says What Could Have Prevented His Shooting Rampage: ‘What Right Do You Have…’

After Chicago’s Deadliest Month In 13 Months, Obama Finally Responds…

A look into the future of America…Socialist Sweden In Turmoil Because Of Refugee Acceptance, Imploding Welfare System

That’s a wrap for me this week. As always, I hope that you all have had a great week and keep getting ready for tough times. It seems like we get closer every day to something unfortunate coming along.

If you found something that you would like to share with the group or have any questions, don’t hesitate to email me at tom@thepreparedninja.com.

Come back next week for another edition of Survival Sunday.

If you appreciate the content here on The Prepared Ninja, I would love it if you left a comment or shared a post with your friends or loved ones! We are all in this together after all, right? With that being said, it does cost me money every month to keep The Prepared Ninja up and running. If the site does help you and you would like to help support it, you can provide monetary support to help keep things going via PayPal here. Thank you!

Building A Pet Survival Kit

Building A Pet Survival Kit

Taking a look at the preparedness efforts of the average American prepper, most of the basics are well taken care of. Even some of the more advanced areas like alternative energy or aquaponics are covered by some. With that said, not every area is always well covered by everyone. Acknowledging that all pets should be cared for, good times or not, what seems to sometimes slip by is a plan to care for our pets.

If you are not already planning how you will care for your pet in the event of a disaster, you are behind the power curve. We would all like to think that if we have a pet, we have done this already but sometimes among the beans, bullets, and band-aids this is an area that is forgotten.

Pet Survival Kit

Buckle Up! Statistics ahead.

  • According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), the estimate of dogs who are owned as pets in the United States is 70-80 million and pet cats come in at 74-96 million. Approximately 37-47% of households have a pet dog and 30-37% of households have a pet cat.
  • Taking the median value of the percentages of households containing dog and cat owners and averaging them together, approximately 37.75% of households in America have a dog or cat for a pet.
  • Doing the same with the number of dogs and cats that are pets in America, there are approximately 80,000,000 pet dogs and cats. This number doesn’t even account for the birds, fish, reptiles, rodents, etc. It is only my personal opinion but I think that depending on what the disaster is, some of these less popular pets may just have to be left behind. I cannot imagine trying to get out of dodge with a fish aquarium.
  • Assuming that the estimate of 3% of the American population are “preppers” is correct, there are approximately 3,644,385 prepper households that should include pet preparedness as part of their overall preparedness strategy.

While a pet can be comforting to any person or family, a pet can be especially comforting to a child during a traumatic time. Additionally, a pet is not only a comfort to you and the family, your pet could be an asset during a collapse. The advantage that comes to the front of my mind is the help a pet can be with your personal security and defense. There is something about the presence of a dog especially that can alter a person’s behavior if they wish to do you harm.

Obviously there is an established need for a preparedness plan for your pet, so where should we begin?

I actually intend to cover pet survival kits from two perspectives, staying in place and bugging out. As a result, This will actually end up being two separate kits. It may be presumptuous but I am going to assume that most people will be dealing with a dog, cat, or both. If you have other pets, you may have to make some adjustments to what you put in your pet survival kit.

Here are some of the areas that you should consider when planning for your pets survival alongside your own:

Pet Survival Kit (Staying In Place)

  1. CONTAINER – It can be beneficial to have a dedicated container for your home based pet survival kit. While there are many options available, a storage trunk (we called them “tough boxes” in the military because they held up to everything as we moved them around the world) is one of the best options out there. Having everything consolidated into one container is very beneficial for organization but also convenient if you have to load up and go somewhere.
  2. FOOD – Feeding your pet when the supply system is interrupted is not as simple as just providing your leftover scraps to your pet. All animals have nutritional needs that are unique from those of humans, and each other. Think about how you have planned to store food for yourself. Start with a week of pet food and move up from there, trying to match your own food storage. Keep in mind that cheap dry food has a tendency to go bad faster than high quality dry food and canned food will last the longest. If you store canned food for your pet, ensure that you keep an extra hand can opener around.
  3. WATER – This does not have to be separate from the water your are already storing, just remember to store extra for your pet. I don’t know that there is a clear guideline for how much water is right for Fido or Whiskers so use your best judgement.
  4. BOWLS – You may want to include a couple of extra bowls in the event that you need to load up and go. Something lightweight that does not take up too much space is ideal.
  5. MEDICATIONS – This can be prescription medications but should also include medicines that many pets need like dewormers as well as monthly flea and tick treatments. For the monthly treatments, it is common to be able to obtain a six month supply at one time which should be a good baseline for medication to keep on hand at home.
  6. SUPPLEMENTS – These should match up with the amount of food you have set aside for your pet. While not necessarily a requirement, supplements can help keep your pet in the best shape possible in all circumstances.
  7. POOPY PROBLEMS – Animals have bodily functions that must be dealt with. Don’t forget to stock up on litter, an extra litter box (consider the idea of a plastic box with a lid to contain things), litter scoop, garbage bags, dog poop bags (I use my old plastic shopping bags), stain or odor removers, etc.
  8. COLLAR & LEASH – It’s probably a good idea to have an extra collar and leash on hand. Don’t forget to get an extra identification tag (should at a minimum include the animal’s name and your contact number) for the collar.
  9. TREATS – Some pet treats can be something to help your pet do something that you want it to but it can also be useful
  10. RECORDS – The most important records that you can have for your pet on hand are an up to date record of vaccinations and a copy of the animal’s microchip number (your pet should have one, even if it is only in the event that they run away). If you are able to, and have room, also include a copy of any of your pet’s pertinent medical records. A good practice to mitigate the chances of these records being ruined is to keep them in a waterproof storage bag. Don’t forget to include a picture of each of your pets in the event they are lost or so that you can claim them from a shelter.
  11. UPKEEP – If things go south, you will likely be on your own to provide your pet with the basic grooming services that you may currently outsource. Some items to consider include a deciding brush, nail trimmers, hair clippers, ear and eye cleaners, shampoo, dental care treatments, etc.
  12. PROTECTIVE GARMENTS – Most animals have all the protection they need from their natural coats but if you live in (or plan on going to) an extreme environment, it could be advantageous to include protective clothing or foot covers for your pet.
  13. LIFE JACKET – It may seem like an unlikely need but if you live in an area where you may have to evacuate because of flooding you may want to include a specialty life jacket for your animal companion.

Pet Survival Kit (Bugging Out)

  1. CONTAINER – One of the best ways to ensure that your pet survival kit is ready to go in the event of an evacuation is to put it into it’s own bag, placing an extra leash on the outside for easy access, and placing it with the rest of the family’s bug out bags. While almost any duffel bag, suitcase, or backpack could be used, a bag with a good weight capacity that is easy to carry, or roll on wheels, is a great bonus. If you are a dog owner, one of the ways that your pet can help you out is by carrying part of their own survival kit using their own backpack.
  2. FOOD –  At a minimum, keep three days worth of food for your pet in their bog out kit. If you have the space, and the weight is not too much, try to keep at least a week worth of food. Evaluate your options carefully; dry food may be lighter but will take up more space and canned food may be heavier but it will also be more compact in many cases.
  3. WATER – A couple of bottles of water should be the minimum amount of water that is available to your pet when you are on the move. It may even be worth considering the idea of having an extra water filter or water treatment tablets to provide additional safe drinking water for your animal friend.
  4. BOWLS – You will have to have some sort of container for food and water. There are many options available but perhaps the best option for a pet survival kit is a set of these lightweight, collapsible bowls.
  5. MEDICATIONS – If your pet is on prescription medication you should ensure that you have at least a few days worth of their medicine in this kit. This only applies to medication that is long term. There is probably no need to include meds that are only needed for a short period of time in the kit itself. Don’t forget to rotate any medications to ensure that they are always as effective as they should be.
  6. LEASH – One of the things that I have personally done is get a slip lead for my dog that allows me to get her quickly, even if she got her collar off somehow. Either way, have an extra leash in your pet’s kit, just in case.
  7. VEHICLE SAFETY HARNESS – If you find yourself in a position where you are relocating to get away from a threat, you may be operating under circumstances that increase the risk of injury to your dog or cause undue distraction to the vehicle operator. Consider getting a vehicle safety harness for your dog to minimize the potential risks that your pet is exposed to.
  8. RECORDS – It may be obvious but don’t keep the The records that should be a part of any portable pet survival kit include a copy Vaccination Record, ID Chip Number, and Rabies Tag Number at a minimum. It is also a good idea to have one of the waterproof bags mentioned above.
  9. CARRIER – Dependent upon where you are headed to, it may be beneficial to have a way to contain your pet. The natural selection is a pet carrier/kennel. This can be important for both the safety of others and your pet. I can only imagine that there may be some people who might be quick to take action against an animal that makes them feel uncomfortable.
  10. POOPY PROBLEMS – Just like your home kit, ensure that you account for the fact that your animal friend is going to continue to have bodily functions. This may be an even more important point of consideration for animals bugging out compared to animals staying at home.
  11. COMFORT ITEMS – As funny as it may sound, some pets have a favorite blanket or stuffed animal as an example. It can’t hurt to have an extra of these items to ensure that your pet remains as comfortable as possible during a stressful time. Another way to ensure your dog’s comfort is through the use of a Thundershirt to avoid anxiety.
  12. TOYS – If your pet is used to playing, it is a good idea to have a couple of toys in your kit. Most dogs that like to play fetch would really love to have a tennis ball launcher. They even make mini launchers that would be perfect for a portable pet survival kit. This is also a great way for your pet to expend some energy. If nothing else, it will assist with keeping your pet entertained.
  13. TREATS – Having a few treats might be a good idea. One idea might be to have a couple of bones or chews so that your pet will remain occupied.
  14. PROTECTIVE GARMENTS/LIFE JACKET – Just like I mentioned for the home kit, you should evaluate the are that you are in and determine if there is a need for any protective garments, a life jacket, or both. This may not need to be doubled up if you are going to bug out by loading up your home based kit.

While there are many similarities in these two kit designs, they both are aimed at serving two different purposes. Start by putting together at least one of these kits and as everything else in your preparedness priorities begins to come together, you might even want to build the other kit as well. You could keep your pet’s bug out bag in the car while your home kit sits with your stuff to bug in or load up and go. The bottom line is that something should be done to ensure that your pet is taken care of in the event of a disaster.

What else would you include in your pet survival kit?

How To Make Your Food Storage Look Amazing

How to Make Your Food Storage Look Amazing

You’ve decided that food storage is a necessity in your life, but that doesn’t mean that it has to be unsightly! You don’t need five gallon buckets taking over your kitchen or drums of water holding all the available space in your garage. After all, your food storage is here to stay! Instead, design a system that is attractive as well as functional to help give your food storage a longer shelf life instead of running it out of your home in frustration.

Develop a System

It’s great that you have enough spaghetti sauce and honey to last your family for a year or two, but none of that does you any good if you don’t know how to access it when you need it. Develop an inventory system that keeps all of a single kind of food together. Make sure that you keep fresh, new food at the back while older food that is closer to its sell-by date is pushed to the front. It might take a little longer to put it away that way when you return from the grocery store, but it will prevent you from having to throw away food that’s no longer edible.

Choose Containers You Love

It can be tempting to choose cheap, practical food storage containers that you don’t particularly like. After all, you’re on a budget! Taking the leap and purchasing food storage containers that are attractive as well as practical, however, will make it easier for you to maintain your food storage practices over time. Make sure that essential emergency foods are in clearly labeled containers so that you’ll be able to access them quickly at need.

Devote a Space to Food Storage

Whether it’s an extra-large pantry designed specifically with food storage in mind or a wall of your garage dedicated to food storage, you need to have space set aside that belongs to your food, water, and toiletries. You aren’t stockpiling for a short-term shortage that will occur as predicted and then disappear again. Food storage is a long-term goal that, with any luck, you’ll never actually have to use for its intended purpose. That means that you need to have a specific area devoted to these items. Instead of piling food storage haphazardly, organize it neatly in its space. That alone will make it seem more appealing in appearance.

Label Your Shelves

Do you frequently have help putting away the groceries? If you want your food storage to stay organized, you need to have a system that everyone in your household can understand. When you label your shelves, everyone can easily see where each food storage item goes. Don’t forget a reminder that the most recent food goes at the back, not at the front! This will keep your food storage continuously organized.

Make Your Kitchen Part of Your Food Storage

You don’t want the food in your food storage to go to waste. That means that you should be regularly using the items in your food storage and replacing them. For that to happen, your food storage has to be conveniently located. If you have space in your kitchen, consider making it part of your food storage area! Use your cabinets to the best possible advantage and consistently stock them based on the first-in, first-out rule (FIFO) instead of shoving new items in from the front. There’s no reason to have the same food in your kitchen and in your food storage area! Use your kitchen to your full advantage. This is especially crucial if you have a smaller kitchen.

Your food storage area doesn’t have to be an eyesore! By keeping it neat and organized, you can ensure that your food storage is simply part of your home. When guests visit, they’ll be amazed by your organization and preparation, not disturbed by your hoarding tendencies–which might just be enough to convince them to start food storage systems of their own.

About The Author

This article was a guest contribution from Lee Flynn who is a routine contributor here. Lee is a freelance writer and expert in emergency food preparedness and food storage.

Monday Mania – 9/28/2015

In this weeks edition of Monday Mania: Post Collapse: Chaos or Martial Law?, Tips For Preppers With Non-Prepper Spouses, Survival Strategies For The Woman Living Alone, How To Choose An Emergency Weather Radio, and 3 more.

Monday Mania

I messed up last week! I know that I already admitted to that much last week but as I sit to type this, I realize that I dated last weeks Monday Mania as the 21st of July. As nice as it may be to go back two months in time with a simple key stroke, it is not currently possible. Of course, Marty McFly and Doc Brown already proved that time travel does not always work out the way we think it may.

All free time seemed to be lost for me last week. On top of regular work commitments, I was a single father to my two youngest boys for a portion of the week while my wife and oldest son were out of town. I am not sure that my wife told them to ensure that my time was not boring, either way, they made sure to keep things exciting. My youngest son even put on the most epic meltdown I have seen from him and that is saying a lot! For the most part things went well and we even got to do some fishing which was very successful.

I have opted for the concise version again this week. Here’s what I’ve got!


Post Collapse: Chaos or Martial Law?

Tips For Preppers With Non-Prepper Spouses

Survival Strategies For The Woman Living Alone

How To Choose An Emergency Weather Radio

Raising Kids To Be The Opposite of Society’s Expectations


Half of Americans Think “Government Is an Immediate Threat to Liberty”

How and Why to Wage a “Personal Financial Revolution” Against the Power of the Banks

That’s a wrap for me this week. As always, I hope that you all have had a great week and keep getting ready for tough times. It seems like we get closer every day to something unfortunate coming along.

If you found something that you would like to share with the group or have any questions, don’t hesitate to email me at tom@thepreparedninja.com.

Come back next week for another edition of Survival Sunday.

If you appreciate the content here on The Prepared Ninja, I would love it if you left a comment or shared a post with your friends or loved ones! We are all in this together after all, right? With that being said, it does cost me money every month to keep The Prepared Ninja up and running. If the site does help you and you would like to help support it, you can provide monetary support to help keep things going via PayPal here. Thank you!

The path to preparedness

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