Category Archives: Food Storage

Mountain House Sale!

Prepared Ninja partner, Camping Survival is having a huge sale on Mountain House! For those that may not be familiar, Mountain House is typically considered the freeze dried food company of choice for preppers, backpackers, etc. They have a long history and are not one of these companies that have popped up to try to make a buck of the popularity of preparedness. Mountain House has been making freeze dried meals for the U.S. Army Special Forces since the 1960’s and since then has gained popularity for the flavor of the meals, the ease of preparation (add hot water and stir), and the fact that there are so many people that swear by Mountain House!

Get your Mountain House cans and pouches here.

You will also find that Mountain House foods last a LOT longer than the other freeze dried foods on the market. Most of the other companies claim a 5 year shelf life on their pouch meals as compared to 12 years for the Mountain House pouches.

Camping Survival has 72 Mountain House items marked down including their #10 cans, pouches, and bucket assortments. It is a great opportunity. Buy your Mountain House food storage before you miss out on the great selection.

If you are not convinced yet, see what some others had to say:

If you are looking for a tasty freeze-dried vendor for your next camping trip, long term storage plans or Bug Out Bag, Mountain House gets my vote.

-Pat Henry, The Prepper Journal

Like most of their meals, the Mountain House Noodles and Chicken is very tasty and a huge upgrade from the majority of the new comers in the market. The meal quickly sets up and is a hearty , you can eat it with a fork unlike some soupy entrees Iv’e had recently from Wise Foods.

-Shawn Anderson, Top Food Storage Reviews

When you are looking for quality freeze dried meals, look no further than Mountain House Freeze Dried Food.

-Freeze Dried Food Reviews

This is only a sampling of what is out there but as you can see there are some pretty good reviews. Now I think if I looked hard enough, I could find some less glamorous reviews but this is no different than any other product out there. As they say, “haters gonna hate.”

One last thing, Camping Survival is offering a free bottle of KIO3 with every purchase of $100 or more. This is a bottle of 90 FDA approved tablets of potassium iodate, the active ingredient needed to block the absorption of radiation in the thyroid following a nuclear or radiological event. This single bottle can sustain a family of four adults for 10 days following a nuclear or radiological disaster which makes it a great bonus!


Stuff Worth Sharing

This week I stumbled upon some great information that I felt was worth sharing. Some of it is prepping related while some of it is political in nature. Whether you lean one way or the other in the political arena, it is important to know what is going on in the world.

Food Storage Basics Plus A Super Food Storage Giveaway

Jennifer from Are We Crazy, Or What? has put together a great post on the basics of food storage including the differences of long term and short term storage as well as things to consider when storing food. The full article can be read here.

Anti-Surveillance Mask Can Hide You From Biometric Face Scanners

Mac over at posted a story about a new rubber mask that would allow the wearer to hide their true identity from facial recognition software. Check it out here.

No Knock Raid Results in Multiple Cops Shot – One Killed

Freedom Outpost outlines the scary epidemic of no knock raids executed by the increasingly militarized police forces around the country and how it has led to increased fatalities of both law enforcement officers and citizens. Read about it here.

USDA Puts Out a Request for .40 Cal Sub-Machine Guns

For those that haven’t heard yet, the United States Department of Agriculture is the latest federal government organization that is looking to add military grade weapon systems to their inventory of equipment. Their request is not for any run of the mill sub-machine guns either, the solicitation specifically outlines the need for,

Submachine guns, .40 Cal. S&W, ambidextrous safety, semi-automatic or 2 shot burst trigger group, Tritium night sights for front and rear, rails for attachment of flashlight (front under fore grip) and scope (top rear), stock-collapsible or folding, magazine – 30 rd. capacity, sling, light weight, and oversized trigger guard for gloved operation.

Read the full account here.


How I’d restore Ronald Reagan’s vision for America

LTC Allen West outlines how he believes that we may be seeing what he calls the first light of the “dawn of a new America.” Personally, I hope he is right. Read his take on things here.

I hope that everyone had a great week but don’t stop preparing for the tough times that may lay ahead.

Best Ways to Store Food

The following post is a guest submission from Lee about the different containers available to store food in and the pros of cons that accompany each type of container as well as some other storage challenges.

Best Ways to Store Food

Storage of food is essential. Most items people purchase must be stored properly. If they are not, the item may develop rot of some sort, rending it partially or wholly unusable. The best storage systems can prevent this from happening. This is why it is important to think carefully about the kind of storage you want to keep in your home. You should also think about where you intend to store your food containers in order to make sure that your storage area looks clean and tidy. A clean and organized storage area can make it easier to find items and avoid accidents.

Image Courtesy of Naypong/

Where to Store Items

One of the most important aspects when considering any type of storage item is the ability to store the items when not in use. Effective storage should be compact. It should have as few parts as possible. Many companies offer storage items that have multiple parts that often interlock. For example, there is a company that offers several boxes in various sizes that can easily be stacked on top one each other. This is very useful because it means that you can stack the items without worrying that they will topple over. You can also store such items in a single place rather than multiple areas of your kitchen.

Materials Used

Another important consideration is the type of material used. Storage for food is available in many types of material including plastic, glass, and heavy duty fabric. Each type of material has certain advantages. For example, plastic is very widely used in many types of storage items. Plastic has many advantages. Plastic containers are easy to clean, come in many different colors, will not break easily and typically will not fade even if stored in direct sunlight. This can be an important factor if your kitchen has many areas with lots of sun.

Glass Storage

Glass is another widely used material for storage. Glass is popular for many reasons. Glass containers can be very attractive and even serve as a type of artwork. Delicate, incised glass bowls may even be used as a focal point in a room, providing a beautiful place for the eye to rest, offering a place to store fresh produce and allowing people to admire a lovely piece of glass art at the same time. Glass, however, can pose a health hazard and may unexpectedly break, especially if you have young children in the home who may play with it.

Metal Storage

Another option is metal storage. Many companies offer metal containers that blend in well with other items in a kitchen including appliances. Metal storage containers can be heavy but also offer an excellent way to keep food away from pests as well as water and intense sunlight. Typically, metal storage containers are durable and will last a long time.

Fabric Storage Bins

Fabric storage bins can be found in many places. Often they come in bright colors and patterns. In many cases, such storage bins are intended for non-food items. However, they can be adapted for food storage by placing a glass or plastic container inside. A fabric storage bin can be an excellent storage solution if you want to add a splash of color and light.

Avoid Moisture

In all cases, care must be made to make sure the storage container being used stays dry. Moisture can easily get inside a storage container. The best way to keep moisture out of a container is to make sure all the sides of the item have no areas where moisture may get inside. Any storage container should also have a very tight lid. The lid should fit well with no gaps in the seal.

When properly used, storage containers can add a nice touch of color to any space. Think carefully about the kind you want. You will have items that will last a long time and keep your food in good condition.

About The Author

Lee Flynn is a freelance writer and expert in emergency food preparedness and food storage.

Emergency Food Storage: 7 Tips for Getting Started

No matter where you live, there is potential for a disaster. If something were to happen, would you be prepared? Taking the time to store emergency food, water and first-aid supplies is essential in fully preparing your home or business for the unexpected. Starting with a basic food and water storage is a great way to make some headway. For this, you can start with a-la-carte food storage items and pick up more as you go, or purchase quick and easy kits for a solid base. Emergency kits are available in pails, backpacks and duffle bags, each designed for a specific use. These kits are great if you don’t have the time or desire to start building a food storage base on your own. They’re also inexpensive and designed to accommodate almost every emergency need.

Whether you choose to pick up food storage items as you go, or start with emergency food kits, it’s important that you store your items properly for optimal shelf-life and quality. To give you a better idea of how you can do this, we’ve provided the list of food storage tips below.

Food Guidelines for storing:

  • Keep food in a dry, unused area
  • Keep food enclosed at all times
  • Open food boxes or cans care-fully so that you can close them tightly
  • Wrap cookies and crackers in plastic bags and keep them in tight containers
  • Empty open packages and put into screw-top jars to protect them from pests
  • Inspect all food for signs of spoilage on a regular basis
  • Place new items in the back of the storage area and older ones in front

Starting a Storage

Now that you know where and how you should store your emergency food supply, it’s time to get started! Canned foods are the best choice as the food can be well-maintained for a very long period of time. Dried fruits, nuts, sugar, tea, and coffee can also be stored in sealed containers.  Review the tips below for a complete description of what you should start storing and when.

1)     Create Kits

First, make an emergency evacuation kit, also known as a 72-hour kit. Each member of the family should have their own emergency kit with an assortment of emergency supplies and food in a backpack or small bucket. Each kit should have enough supplies for three days. If danger strikes and you need to evacuate instantly, all you have to do is grab your backpack or bucket and escape. Don’t forget the following items: food, water, clothes, first-aid kit, hygiene needs, necessary medicines, important papers, and basic tools and utensils.

2)     Build Your Storage of Favorite Meals

Make a food storage plan based on your current diet. This would include a two or three month supply of the food your family eats regularly. In an emergency, you will want to have foods that you’re accustomed to eating as they will ease your transition into long term food storage items. Do not forget water.

3)     Stock PLENTY of Water

A top priority for getting started is an ample supply of clean water. The average person needs to drink at least two quarts of water each day, and hot climates can double that amount. Water will also be needed for food preparation and hygiene. One gallon per person, per day is usually recommended. According to FEMA, you should have at least a two week supply of water per person in your family. Never ration water. You can always minimize the amount of water your body needs by reducing activity and staying cool.

4)     Stock up on Food Staples

You will want to start storing long term food items. These are simple foods that store for extended periods of time and provide sufficient nutrition. These include grains, legumes, and other staples that will allow you to provide for your family in a reasonable manner for an extended period of time. You will need to incorporate these into your diet so your body can become familiar with them.

5)     Plan for Fire Needs

You also want to consider fire. It is very important to have the ability to light a fire for cooking and warmth. A fire starter is a vital item because it could be tough to locate burnable material and even tougher to ignite it.

6)     Make Sure Storage is Easily Accessible

Location is important. When an emergency is happening, you need to be able to locate your emergency kit and fast.

7)     Plan for Every Emergency

Your home isn’t the only place you should have an emergency kit. You will want to consider placing one in your boat, cabin, vehicle, etc. You never know when disaster could strike.

These are great suggestions and are compliments of the folks at Augason Farms.

Huge Mountain House Food Storage Savings

Now is a great chance to stock up on Mountain House Food Storage at Ready Made Resources. There are many entrees, sides, proteins, fruits and vegetables to choose from. All at 25-42% OFF!!!


Mix & Match is Available! This offer is eligible for Free Shipping!

Act fast! This sale only runs through December 13, 2013. 

Emergency Food Fails Infographic

When it comes to prepping, there are a number of shortcomings and failures that one may be forced to deal with. It seems like the greatest failure comes from a lack of prepping, but there are prepping failures that are equal to inaction. Check out the infographic below of the Top 10 Most Common Emergency Food Fails, compliments of Food Insurance:

Top 10 Most Common Emergency Food Fails Infographic

Why Have Food Storage?

When it comes to food storage, some folks ask “Is it really necessary?” But recent events in the United States and around the globe are evidence to the fact that, sometimes, things just happen that are beyond our control. Take Hurricane Sandy, for example. Surely, the locals didn’t expect to endure such a trying disaster in the months leading up to the horrific event. Many endured losing everything they had. Others were forced to evacuate as soon as possible. But all involved experienced a level of uncertainty and instability.

Perhaps you are saying to yourself “That is a horrible disaster, but something like that will never happen where I live.” Maybe not, but maybe so. The fact is that many things are simply out of our control. Natural disasters seem to hit with increasing frequency these days. Do you want to be unprepared if you are forced to stay at home for days on end?

Let’s consider a few other situations where a food storage supply would certainly come in handy. First, with the economy like it is, many have been left without work or means of supporting their families. This has meant hungry little ones and frustrations at every turn. Or what about those who suddenly experience the loss of a loved one who has previously provided for them? Or even a loved one who can no longer work due to an accident of some sort?

The fact is that things happen in life that we just cannot control. But we can control how much we prepare for certain events, which includes obtaining a food storage supply. So while some claim it is not really important, others know it just might be the difference between life and death.

So what are some essential items to have in your food storage? Very simply, you need to include all the basics that will sustain human life and keep you healthy. These basics include grains, legumes, dehydrated milk, sugar, salt, oil, and garden seeds. Also, you’d be smart to get items that last a long time and that you really enjoy eating. If a disaster ever struck, you’d be grateful you did. In addition to food, it should go without saying that you need a pretty solid water supply. Some recommend having a gallon for each person per day (but as you don’t know just how long the emergency might last, it’s a great idea to store quite a bit). You can purchase bottled water or large storage containers from emergency essential stores.

A quick note: You don’t need to run out and buy your food storage all at once. In fact, doing so can be a bad idea, as it is a lot harder to rotate properly. Buy items every week or month, depending on your budget, so you always have a rotating storage that will sustain your family in the event of an emergency. As the saying goes “Better safe than sorry.” Food storage is not a paranoid measure for those who just like to worry and expect the worst, it is a precautionary measure that can save your life. As some say, once the event has occurred, the time for preparation is long gone.

Lee Flynn is a freelance writer and food storage advocate.

7 Different Aspects of Food Storage

Emergency preparedness includes getting ready just in case a natural disaster occurs. Because there may be power outages and dangerous conditions outside, local stores won’t be able to help feed you or your family. This will cause a need for food storage plans in order to survive until things are normal again.

Basic Ways to Prepare for a Natural Disaster with Survival Food

To truly be ready for natural disasters, you’ll need to prepare your emergency food storage to ensure healthy survival:

  1. Seasonings – When preparing meals, you’ll need to season your foods. Some natural seasonings include salt, honey and sugar. All three have indefinite shelf lives when stored in sealed, waterproof packaging and containers.
  2. Cooking Oils – Vegetable, corn, canola and olive oils are important ingredients when preparing roux for thickening your gumbos, sauces, soups and stews. They also come in handy for frying foods and greasing pans for baking foods.
  3. Baking Goods – Be sure to add baking mixes, flours, baking powder and baking soda to your food storage. These ingredients are necessities when making baked goods such as pastries. They can also be used to prepare pastries that don’t require baking. These goods usually have a one year shelf life.
  4. Starchy Foods – These foods provide carbohydrates, which are vital to healthy eating. Dry cereals are edible without milk. Or, you can eat them with canned milk, boxed milk, a milk alternative or powdered milk. Powdered potatoes contain a natural amount of carbohydrates to add to your emergency meals. Also, pastas and rice are starchy foods with very long shelf lives.
  5. Dehydrated Vegetables – Dehydrated onions, mushrooms and other vegetables have the same nutritious value as their fresh forms. These veggies, as well as soup bases and gravy mixes are useful for creating full course meals after a natural disaster. They can also be used to give your prepared foods some well-needed seasoning.
  6. Canned Foods – These are a favorite among savvy survivalists. Canned goods have extremely long shelf lives. They’re also great during emergency situations because the foods can be eaten out of the can without any cooking whatsoever. Cans are generally strong enough to survive most natural disasters. The liquids from many canned foods is great for giving your other foods a little seasoning.
  7. Freeze Dried Meats, Vegetables, Fruits, Starchy Foods and Desserts – Freeze dried food is another favorite emergency food for ninja survivalists. These foods have a 25-year shelf life. And, the flash freezing process essentially freezes the natural flavors, textures, colors, shapes and nutritional values in time. So, you don’t have to worry about your family going hungry because the foods just don’t look or taste right.

This article was written by Dirk Puckett for Need tips for incorporating freeze dried food into your food insurance plan? Visit to see how to prepare your emergency food for a natural disaster today?

Free Download: Food Storage Buyer’s Guide

The folks over at Legacy Food Storage were kind enough to share their Food Storage Buyer’s Guide with us here at The Prepared Ninja. It is rich with information about the different types of food storage options and some of their pros and cons as well as addressing some of the other concerns about food storage. Download this great resource for free today!

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Top 5 Summer Food Storage Tips – Guest Post

Top 5 Most Important Summer Food Storage Tips

By Lee Flynn

Whatever time of year it is, and whatever your situation in life, it is always important to keep a good supply of food for emergencies. What this entails, is creating a store of nonperishable food, enough for you and your family in case of any kind of emergency that might make you unable to leave your house or purchase food for whatever reason. Natural disasters are the most cited reason for needing food storage, but anything from a blackout to the loss of a job could make a person unable to buy food. And when it comes to the summer, there are certain factors that you should take into consideration. Here are five important food storage tips for the summer.

1. Store Food Properly

With the summer, there comes a swarm of unwanted visitors in the form of pests, insects, and rodents. Bacteria also grows faster when it is warmer. If you don’t store your food properly, you could quickly run into trouble with contaminated food and infestations of certain creatures. Make sure that your food is stored in tightly sealed containers. As it is the summer, it is also likely to be much warmer. This makes it equally important to choose a good location for you food storage somewhere that is cool and out of the sunlight, preferably insulated.

2. Check the Type of Food You Store

Sometimes the only space that you have is in a basement or attic, or somewhere else with little to no insulation. If this is the case, you will have to be incredibly careful with the type of food that you store. Don’t store anything that can easily melt or suffer other alteration because of extreme temperatures. In fact, even if you do have an insulated storage space, you will still need to only include non perishable items in your food storage, as they are the items that will last until you need them.

3. Store Other Necessities

In any emergency food supply, there needs to be a stock of other important items to prepare for any eventuality. Such items include a first aid kit, a toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, and medication. But in the summer, there are also other circumstances to take into consideration. Sunblock and insect repellant are both things for which you will be grateful, should you be forced to leave your house at a moment’s notice. Hay-fever medicine should also come in handy.

4. Plenty of Water

Any emergency that could occur would, more likely than not, affect the availability of good, clean water. For this reason, it is recommended that we store a gallon of water for each person who lives in the household. In the summer, you may need more; let’s not forget that we need water for washing, cleaning, and cooking as well as drinking.

5. Store Food that You Like!

You don’t know how long you may be stuck eating the food that you store, so it only makes sense to store food that you like and that is sure to be different in the summer from how it is in the winter. So if you are going to create food storage, why not make the most of it, and have some fun!

Lee Flynn is a freelance writer interested in helping others develop self reliance through food storage.

10 Essential Foods To Include In Your Food Storage – Guest Post

Hey, Preppers! It’s almost Summer. That means increased chances of heat waves, wildfires, monsoons and hurricanes. So, what have you done to prepare for such disasters? Well, we’re here to help you be prepared by starting your food storage.

When starting your food storage, experts suggest keeping things simple. That means beginning with your most immediate needs. We’ve put together a prepper’s list which contains items required to meet those needs. Feel free to print it out and take it with you when you go shopping. You can even print out copies to pass out to your loved ones for their food storage.

10 Food Storage Essentials

The list below contains 10 essential foods you should include in your food storage. Our calculations are based on the needs of one person, for six months. These products can be purchased at your local supermarket. All of them can have a very long shelf life, as long as they’re stored properly.

  1. Wheat or White Flour – 10 lbs – It would be best to store both for variety.
  2. Rice – 20 lbs – White rice has a longer shelf life than brown rice. But, both is best.
  3. Beans – 20 lbs – For larger quantities, pinto beans are recommended.
  4. Sugar – 5 lbs – Granulated sugar stores quite well if sealed tightly.
  5. Salt – 2 lbs – This is a multipurpose product for emergency preppers.
  6. Cooking Oil – 1 gallon
  7. Powdered Milk – 5 lbs
  8. Baking Soda – 1 lb
  9. Baking Powder – 1 lb
  10. Yeast – 5 lbs

Be Prepared for Emergencies with Food Storage

The shopping list above contains very basic foods to help you survive an emergency or disaster for six whole months. Be sure to add other products to meet your daily nutritional needs. Some of these include vitamins, health shakes and various healthy snacks.

One of the best ways to add some variety to the list above is to include canned foods and freeze dried foods in your emergency supply. Canned fruits, vegetables, beans and meats will help your family maintain a healthy diet during these times.

However, canned foods are very bulky and heavy to carry. So, if you ever need to evacuate, you’ll need foods that are easier to travel with on the road. Freeze dried foods come in many varieties, just like canned foods. Yet, freeze dried food weighs much less, making it best for evacuations.

Check the labels of the foods you purchase. You want to be sure that they contain loads of proteins and vitamins. Also, when buying products for your stockpile, make sure to purchase foods you and your family normally eat. For example, if you like to cook with canned tomatoes a lot, make sure your food storage also contains lots of canned and freeze dried tomatoes.

This article was written by Dirk Puckett of Daily Bread. They provide the essentials needed for your stockpile needs. Get prepared by starting your Daily Bread Food Storage today.

Win A FREE Royal Berkey – 4 Hours Remain!

Check out this great contest from Jeff “The Berkey Guy”. It is open for a few more hours. Sorry for the short notice!

Royal Berkey Water Purification System

Here’s your chance to win a ROYAL BERKEY® Water Purification System!

We’ll (LPC Survival) be giving away that system to (1) Lucky Fan…will that be YOU?

Retail Value of Royal Berkey® Water Purification System: $283.00

Give-Away is only open to Residents in all 50 USA
(Items will only ship to addresses within 50 USA)

Click this link to enter the contest and obtain the details.

Direct link to the giveaway is:



Please give a warm Prepared Ninja welcome to the newest supporter of our site, Ready Made Resources. The folks at Ready Made Resources have been in business for over 17 years now and provide a one stop shop for anyone looking to be prepared for any type of emergency. From Mountain House long-term storage food to night vision goggles and everything in between, Ready Made Resources has it all! Not only do the professionals at Ready Made talk the talk but they walk the walk as well with their storefront sitting on 25 acres in the great Smoky Mountains powered by solar and wind energy.

Whether your needs are great or small, you will not be disappointed by the customer service and level of attention that you will receive from the staff at Ready Made Resources. I would encourage everyone to consider going to Ready Made Resources for all of your survival and prepping needs. Ready Made Resources cares about their customers and about preparedness and it shows.

Don’t miss out on the HUGE Mountain House sale going on now through November 5th! Click the banner in the left sidebar to be taken directly to huge savings and free shipping! Don’t forget to check out all the other premier products that Ready Made Resources sell to complete your preparedness needs.

Long-Term Food Storage Resources

Photo Credit:

There are some great tools out there on the internet and some of those tools include food storage calculators. I think the most important thing to mention up front is the fact that these calculators are a guideline and are only a starting point of what a family might plan on obtaining if they were going to purchase an entire year’s worth of food. Each family is different and some of these foods will not be eaten by everyone. I can tell you for one that I do not, nor will I ever, have lentils in my food storage. Ain’t gonna happen! With that being said, a food storage calculator can give you an idea of how many pounds of legumes that you should have for your family of four and this will let you know what you should shoot for. You can just get something else instead of lentils. I know I will!

The following websites all have food storage calculators or other information that I found interesting and extremely educational:

Ready NutritionSurvive & Thrive Food Storage Calculator

  • The Survive & Thrive Food Storage Calculator allows the user to calculate custom food storage for individuals and families for adults and children ages eight and older and children ages seven and younger. The time period of food storage can be calculated starting at one month all the way up to five years. Categories of food storage include legumes, grains, sugars, fats/oils, kitchen essentials, and dairy.

There is also a great list on the Ready Nutrition website that I absolutely love. It is by the site owner, Tess Pennington and is as follows,

“First Time Shopping List for an Emergency Food Supply:

1.  10 lbs. of white or wheat flour (both would be better.  Remember the Prepper Golden Rule: 1 is none and 2 is 1).  Those of you who have wheat allergies, click here for alternatives.

2. 10 lbs. of corn meal

3. 5 lbs. of oats

4. 20 lbs of rice (white rice stores better than brown rice)

5. 12 lbs of pasta

6.  20 lbs of beans (pinto beans are usually packed in heavier quantities)

7. 5 lbs of mixed beans (lentils, mixed bean soup, black beans, etc)

8. 5 lbs of sugar

9. 2 lbs of salt

10. 1 gallon of cooking oil

11. 2 large containers of peanut butter

12. 5 lbs of powdered milk

13. 1 lb of baking soda

14. 1 lb of baking powder

15. .5 lbs of yeast

16. 1 gallon of vinegar

17. 1 gallon of drinking water per day  (*I would round-up here.  You can never have too much water.)

18. 1 gallon of bleach for sanitation and treating water”

The Food Guys – Food Storage Calculator

  • From, “The following calculator will help you figure the minimum food storage amounts needed for your family. These amounts are based on the recommendations listed in the LDS Church’s Home Production and Storage manual. These figures are recommendations, and are basic year supply minimums only. You will need to choose the best options and foods you should store for your family.” This calculator will allow you to calculate your families basic food storage needs for a year based on adults and children aged seven and older and children aged zero to six in the categories of Grains, Legumes, Fats/Oils, Military/Dairy, Sugars, Cooking Essentials, Fruits, Vegetables, and Water.

Provident Living – Food Storage Calculator

  • Calculate food storage needs in the groups of Grains, Legumes, Dairy Products, Sugars, Leavening Agents, Salt, Fats, and Water for the number of weeks that you want for the number of adults and children over 12 and the number of children under 12.

Food Storage Made Easy – This resource is not a food storage calculator but does have a plethora of information on food storage and how to make it easy. I think that is where the name comes from? There is also an email list that you can sign up for that will get you periodic emails that include baby steps checklists that break down the process of long-term food storage into easy to swallow pieces. [Insert snare drum and cymbal sound bite here for comedic effect.] There is a food storage calculator on this website that is a little more inclusive than some of the others but it is in an Excel spreadsheet format which I find to be less user-friendly than some of the others at the same time.

I hope that some of these tools are useful and provide you and your families and loved ones the resources needed to survive the tough times that may be ahead.

If you know of any additional resources that can assist the preparedness community in storing food in being ready for difficult times please share them in the comments section below.

Make Your Own Survival Food!

Photo Credit:

There are many websites that are dedicated to dehydrated and backpacking style foods. The design of these foods is have food items that will last for long periods of time and most of the time be able to be stored without refrigeration. As a result of these features, backpacking foods also double as ideal survival foods. Many of the previously mentioned websites will provide expertise and recipes that will allow you to make your own survival foods. But wait, there is more! If you read this article right now, I will provide a few links to valuable resources that will allow you to create your own survival foods should you choose to. OK, so it is obvious that you will not be required to read everything now to take advantage of the links provided but it did add a little infomercial excitement!

One of the primary needs to complete many of these creations is a dehydrator or means of dehydration. This can be achieved through purchasing a dehydrator at one of your local big box stores, buying a higher end dehydrator, or even through solar dehydration. The local chain retailer will likely offer you an affordable dehydrator that will work fairly well and can be acquired for around $50 in most cases. There are also many high end dehydrators that are designed to withstand heavy use for longer periods of time. Which option is better for you is really what it comes down to.

Solar dehydrating is a popular choice as a method for food preservation in underprivileged countries and as a result of this fact, there are several well researched articles that come from humanitarian and charitable organizations around the world. Many of these article go into great detail on the specifics of how to properly dehydrate foods using the sun. For those that are interested in dehydrating foods but might be interested in building their own, plans can be found online for this route as well. The advantage of making your own dehydrator is that you are able to make it almost any size that you want. When I was a kid, my family used to dehydrate fruit by what seemed to be the wheelbarrow full in the dehydrator that my dad built.

If a dehydrator is not part of your present equipment inventory and will not be a part of your life in the near future, do not be discouraged! There are still plenty of survival foods that can be made without the ability to dehydrate. The following are some great resources that I have found for creating your own survival foods at a fraction of the retail cost:

Quiet Journey – A website dedicated to camping and paddlesports, there is also a large collection of recipes that would make ideal foods for survival as well as your outdoor adventures. Some of the more interesting recipes that I saw were big boy burritos, cinnamon buns, and best camp spaghetti.

Dehydrate 2 Store – This is a literal wealth of dehydrating knowledge. Not only does this site include many recipes that can be used to create your survival rations, there are also many tips to help you. Make sure you check out their videos! Some of the recipes that intrigued me included the baked potato, pork fried rice, and instant oatmeal packets.

Backpacking Chef – Some of you may remember an earlier post about the ‘Practically Free Survival Stove‘ which came from the BackpackingChef. Well not only is this a great resource on how to make a survival stove, but also an invaluable place to find information on dehydrated foods, how to make backpacking meals, food packaging, and even how to plan your meals for your time on the trail. Make sure to use Chef Glenn’s recipes to create your own survival foods. Don’t leave without checking out how to make “bark” which can be used for stand alone foods as well as for soup, stew, and sauce bases. There are definitely some foods here that could be used to create some gourmet inspired survival foods.

These are some of my favorite sites for information on making your own survival foods and dehydrated food in general. Do you know of any websites that should be added to this list? Please leave a comment and let me know what I missed.

Smoke ‘em If You Got ‘em…Fish That Is!

Life is full of opportunities, it is just a matter of finding them…at least that is what I have been told. When I saw the plans for this smokehouse recently, I saw an opportunity.

Opportunity #1

If there ever was to be a societal collapse, it is reasoned by many that opportunities to harvest meat are likely to become few and far between. Once the reality of the situation sets in, fish and game regulations and even the concept of private property will likely have little to no meaning as the “every man for himself” mentality takes hold. Individuals will only be concerned with providing for themselves and their families/loved ones and will begin killing whatever protein they can find, even going onto other people’s property to go after cattle, chickens, etc. However, if there is a collapse, will there be damage to the infrastructure? Will it be temporary or permanent? If there is a lack of power there will not be refrigeration or electricity to use to preserve food for any length of time. A perfect solution for preserving proteins in a situation like this is a smoker or smokehouse!

What happens if society manages to hold itself together? You will still have an awesome smokehouse that you can use to make your Thanksgiving turkey, homemade jerky, smoked sausage, ribs, brisket, pork butt, fish, or whatever else you can possibly think of.

Opportunity #2

Thousands upon thousands of smokers are sold in the U.S. every year and this could be your chance to cash in! If you are a handy person, there is a definite opportunity to make money here. I believe the key is to make a superior product that will not fall apart. This particular smokehouse already has a far greater capacity than any readily available commercial smoker. The gentleman that published the article and plans state that they built their smokehouse for $170 which includes the propane burner. It is conceivable that a profit margin of 50% or greater could easily be obtained for this product, especially if the customer is required to provide their own burner or heat source.

Photo Credit: Dexter Bar-B-QueThe business model that comes to mind for me would be to make one of the smokers and take it to local farmer’s markets, co-ops, feed stores, and maybe even the local sporting goods or hardware store to set up as a display. It is possible that a scaled-down model could be constructed for this same purpose. In addition to the display smokehouse, you of course would need to place your contact information, prices, how to place an order, etc. so that a potential customer could get in touch with you. As the manufacturer of this smokehouse, you would have the obligation to ensure that all the materials that you use are safe to be utilized in this application but that seems to be the biggest liability of this project.

Opportunity #3

Using a model that is almost, if not exactly identical as opportunity #2, smokehouse kits could be manufactured that are designed to be put together by the purchaser. This would allow for a lower purchase price which would make the smokehouse more affordable for the consumer but at the same time would result in a lower production cost. The end product is one that more consumers could afford while maintaining profit margins over 50%. The downside to this opportunity is that you have the potential to lose some of your market as a result of buyers that have no interest in completing any of the assembly themselves.

Opportunity #4

Use the smoker as part of community building by preparing great meals for the neighborhood at your block parties! It can even be part of your survival groups preparations for long term planning.

The plans for this smokehouse are free, where other smokehouse plans and designs can cost up to almost $50! On top of the many uses for this smokehouse, it can run off a variety of fuels from propane to charcoal all the way to wood that can be scavenged from local sources. If you like smoked meats and have preparedness in mind, this smokehouse could be the answer to all of your desires and potential problems.

Do You Own Forever Foods?

Photo Credit: SueBee Honey

I recently came across an interesting tidbit on the Mother Nature Network about forever foods which I found to be quite intriguing. The premise of forever foods is that certain foods as long as they are properly stored, can literally last for decades. Even after they have been opened! While they might not literally be foods that last forever, they are likely to last far longer than the average person would ever feel comfortable using them. Like all foods, normal storage practices such as placing items in a cool dark place and in air tight containers should be utilized. Here is the list of 10 forever foods from Mother Nature Network:

1. Sugar – It doesn’t matter what kind of sugar it is, sugar does not support the growth of bacteria.

2. Pure Vanilla Extract – Just like it says, it must be PURE vanilla extract.

3. Rice – Types of forever rice include white, wild, jasmine, arborio, and basmati. Brown rice is not a forever food because of its higher oil content.

4. Corn Starch – You’ll never have thin gravy because corn starch is a forever food!

5. Honey – Like the vanilla, to last for years on end, the honey must be pure. I hate when honey gets crystalized though, so check out the link below to the original list at Mother Nature Network for some great tips on how to deal with grainy honey.

6. Hard Liquor – This makes a lot of sense from many perspectives. Liquor can be used for drinking, cooking, medical purposes, and even for bartering. Make sure that you keep plenty of booze in the cupboard, it could be part of your investment strategy for 2012!

7. Salt – Great product to have around and cheap to buy, plus it never goes bad. Seems like you can’t go wrong with salt!

8. Corn Syrup – Even though Mayor Bloomberg would make all corn syrup illegal, there is good news…corn syrup will last forever so you can start storing it now in case there ever is corn syrup prohibition.

9. Maple Syrup – In order for this to be a true forever food, maple syrup has to be refrigerated or frozen.

10. Distilled White Vinegar – Vinegar is awesome! I must say that. It has a myriad of uses, including some that I have covered before. With applications from cooking to cleaning and almost everything in between, I am not sure that you can have too much vinegar in the pantry.

The list of forever foods and some additional information about them including best storage practices, why they last so long, and what some of their uses are can be seen in the Mother Nature Network article.

If you have any comments or additional information on these or other forever foods please leave your remarks in the comments section below.