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Yesterday I began a new series called, Back to Basics. People every day can simply look at events happening anywhere in the world and understand how taking some simple steps to ensure you can handle minor emergencies, isn’t crazy. Prepping to a certain level makes sense for everyone, regardless of where you live.

This series was designed to go back to the basics of prepping, obviously. Today I wanted to share tips for how to stockpile food for emergencies that anyone can use. I will focus on preppers who are just starting out, but I think some ideas in the topics below could be useful to anyone looking to ensure their family has food and does not go hungry. This article will also have dozens of links to other content on the subject for additional reading.

Related – Healthy Soil. Healthy Plants. Healthy You – Learn everything from the soil up 

I believe there are 5 main components to survival that everyone needs to consider. They are simply Water, Food, Shelter, Security and Hygiene. Yesterday we talked about the need for water and how you can easily store water for emergencies that render your traditional methods of obtaining water impossible. Water is more important to life than food or at least you can live longer without food than you can water, but they are both important.

Why do you need to stockpile food for emergencies?

If you are new to prepping, you may have something that triggered your awareness of the subject. Preppers have many reasons for doing what they do and no two preppers are alike. Some are preparing for the end of the world, but most see situations in our daily lives that give a perfect reason to stock up supplies. You have only to look at the recent winter storm that affected large swaths of the Eastern Seaboard to have a perfect example of why you don’t want to be left without a means to feed your family.

emptystoreshelves

Greeks are finding food, medicine and fuel in short supply.

It seems almost cliché at this point, but invariably it always happens when a winter storm is forecast. Everyone rushes out to the store and certain food supplies are wiped out. Images of empty shelves are shown on practically every newscast and eventually prepper websites. Food shortages during simple storms are common if not expected. We don’t really even blink anymore because we are so used to this practice of waiting until the last-minute and then hitting the local grocery store on the way home from work to grab some basic necessities or comfort food.

Related – Build yourself the only unlimited water source you’ll ever need

If you can’t live for more than 3 days without going to the store, it’s time to reevaluate your family’s readiness. The statistic we hear most of the time is that the average home has only 3 days’ worth of food in it. If this is true, where would you be on day three if you had not been able to make it to the grocery store before the storm? What if instead of a snow storm, a virus outbreak had occurred and everyone was told to stay indoors to prevent infection? Each of us should have more food on hand that our families and friends will eat than is absolutely necessary to prevent surprises from leaving you hungry.

How much food do you need to store?

In the example above I used a virus outbreak as the condition that would prevent you from getting to the store. There are others though and weather could certainly be one of them. Some storms where I live have left roads impassable for upwards of a week. Could we walk to the store? Sure, but what if the stores having already been cleared of just about all of the food were closed? What if power outages prevented them from conducting any transactions? These are things you should consider.

Prepping is not something I ever consider you can accomplish. By that I mean, you are never going to be fully prepared. You may be much better prepared than some or all of the people around you, but you will never be 100% self-sufficient. Prepping should be done incrementally even if you have more money than you know what to do with because as you start to stock up food you learn lessons.

Related – The vital self-sufficiency lessons our great grand-fathers left us

A good rule of thumb for me is to start small when you are beginning to stockpile food for emergencies. You don’t need a year of freeze-dried foods to start with. Try just having a week or two of extra groceries that your family already eats. This is accomplished without any exotic storage needs usually or 5 gallon buckets of grains you have to figure out how to prepare.

Premium Fresh MREs Meal with Heaters

My wife purchases the groceries and I started out by giving her extra money to simply buy more food. I did this in the beginning because she is a much better shopper than I am and will always save more money than me. This worked great because she was easily able to fill our pantry and had plenty of meals planned to last us well over 30 days. Sure, at the end of that 30 days of food we would be getting into more exotic cans of mushrooms and soups that are better left as part of a recipe as opposed to your entire meal, but we wouldn’t starve.

What are the best types of food to stockpile?

Once we had a month worth of food and water stored up, I started looking at other options. I think each person should have a layered approach to food storage. This gives you flexibility and more importantly variety that as you go out to 6 months or 1 year or 2 will be important. My own personal goal is 2 years’ worth of food stockpiled for my family but that isn’t made up of only food from our grocery store. That can certainly be done though with a very good rotation plan.

Related – 4 Important Forgotten Skills used by our Ancestors that can help you in any crisis

Food storage should ideally cover the following:

Short Term Food Storage – The best and simplest foods are like I said above, what your family eats every day. One thing to consider is that the bulk of this food should be non-perishable in case you lose power. Canned foods are great as well as pastas, drink mixes and staples. These usually last at least a year.

Medium Term Food Storage – For the 5 – 10 year range MRE’s are a great option although they are heavier and their convenience comes at a higher price. I have several boxes of these and I like MRE’s because they are self-contained and don’t really need any water. Freeze dried camping foods like Mountain House are another great option to just add hot water to. Rice and beans make great additions to this category because you don’t really have to do anything crazy to store them as long as they are kept cool and dry.

Long Term Food Storage – When you start to look at foods that will keep for many years you get into stored grains like Hard Red Winter Wheat that you store in sealed 5 gallon buckets. Freeze dried food from any one of many suppliers out there keep for 20 years usually and are individually wrapped Mylar packets. They require water to re-hydrate but the taste can be surprisingly good. Make sure you have seasonings though….

Renewable Food Storage – This is when you have to get your inner farmer working. Renewable foods are an intensive garden, small livestock like chickens or rabbits and the occasional wild game caught either through hunting or snares. In the worst disasters, your food will run out so having a plan for that ahead of time will help you prepare.

vegetables

For a well-rounded plan, growing your own food will give you the most flexibility.

How do you plan for your food eventually running out?

I have a mix of the food storage options above. We eat on our grocery store items every day, but I also have MRE’s and a pretty large amount of freeze-dried foods stored. We also have the grains I mentioned and the all-important grain mill to grind them into flour. Several hundred pounds of rice and beans round out the equation.

Stockpiling food is only the start. We have a garden and small flock of chickens. The stored food is just to get us through the worst of the disaster. Hopefully before our food runs out whatever disaster has happened will be mitigated and life will have returned to some sense of normality. If not, we have a huge leg up that will allow us to further harvest our garden to put away food like the pioneers had to do. It is an approach that gives us some sense of security and prepares us to come out on the other side still alive.

What is your plan to stockpile food for emergencies?


On a different note, here’s some other self-sufficiency and preparedness solutions recommended for you:

The Lost Ways (The vital self-sufficiency lessons our great grand-fathers left us)
Survival MD (Knowledge to survive any medical crisis situation)
Backyard Liberty (Liberal’s hidden agenda: more than just your guns…)
Alive After the Fall (Build yourself the only unlimited water source you’ll ever need)
The Lost ways II (4 Important Forgotten Skills used by our Ancestors that can help you in any crisis)
The Patriot Privacy Kit (Secure your privacy in just 10 simple steps)

Yesterday I began a new series called, Back to Basics. People every day can simply look at events happening anywhere in the world and understand how taking some simple steps to

Work Smarter Not Harder – In The Garden

Sometimes in the preparedness folds, we really get wrapped around axles. We have so much that we’re learning and trying to do, and we’re regularly doing it on a budget – which is just one more thing that circles around our heads and beats us up.

We can limit some of the pains of preparedness by changing how we look at things, but also how we do things. Gardening and larger-scale growing is routinely on our to-do list. It’s something that’s going to come as a shock for those who don’t practice ahead of time, no matter how many tricks get applied. However, we can save some time and stress on our bodies with a few low-cost and low-skill tricks and tools, and see increased yields. Bigger yields means lower dinner costs and potentially some increased food storage, letting us expand our preparedness in other ways.

Here are a handful of quickie, usually highly inexpensive – easy garden hacks to save time, money and labor. As you read them, don’t forget: Paper products are compostable.

Mulch

Mulch makes life easier.

Mulch can be straw or wood chips, lightly soiled animal litter, mown or whole leaves, the tips of branches we’re pruning, or shredded white paper. Shredded paper will settle into a mat that makes it tough for weeds, but “loose” mulch routinely does better with a weed suppression barrier down first. We can use newsprint, cardboard, or phone book pages as a weed suppressor and to keep small plants free of dirt kicked up by rain. We won’t get the same moisture-holding and soil aeration improvements, we will still have to weed some, especially if we already have beds that are weed prone, but it lessens our time spent sitting or crouched and bent over.

Mulch lessens the pains of gardening. We don’t weed as much, our plants do better, and we don’t have to water as much.

In some forms of mulch gardening, the mulch stays right there year-round. Some styles use a mulch that in hot, damp climates rots enough during the off-season and is tilled in that winter or early in spring. In others, we scoot aside just enough to drop seeds or transplants in during succession plantings, add amendments like cured manure or compost or pH-raising pine by raking it just into or over the surface, and add mulch more slowly.

Plastic bottles

olla-drip-irrigators-easiest-way-to-do-it-plantcaretoday_com

Sub-irrigated planters for buckets and storage tubs and conventional planters can be made using bottles for the tubes instead of aquarium or garden hoses or PVC.

We don’t store water or foods in milk jugs because they’re porous and can leach previous content out slowly, but they have their place among soda and juice bottles in the garden.

Various bottles can be used to make mini-greenhouses, cloches, scoops, and seed spreaders, as well as mouse and rat traps (2Ls can work for small squirrels and chipmunks, too, or slow them down enough for the garden terriers to get there). They’re great for vertical strawberry and herb and lettuce towers. We can use them to keep cord from tangling, and punch various holes to use for spreading amendments and treatments. Whack them in half, use sourdough starter and water or beer, and they catch horrific numbers of slugs.

For time savers and back savers, though, bottles really excel at helping us water.

Sub-irrigated planters for buckets and storage tubs and conventional planters can be made using bottles for the tubes instead of aquarium or garden hoses or PVC.

Whether we grow in raised beds or tilled rows, mulched beds or multi-layered hugel or lasagna beds, we can use bottles as a spin on olla irrigation, too. We can drill holes all over, as shown in the graphic from http://plantcaretoday.com/soda-bottle-drip-feeder-for-vegetables.html, bury it near our plants, and use a hose to fill it quickly. A similar version plants the bottle cap-down, with holes drilled in the cap and the sloping neck, and the inverted bottom cut entirely or with just enough remaining to make a flap. Those are even easier and faster to fill, with less aim needed.

The water from those will then sink out slowly, watering deep at the roots and watering our plants, not the weeds or walkways. Less water is lost to evaporation, and we don’t have to deal with timers or hose connections, or PVC to avoid standing out there forever to slowly sink in water. We pour it in, fill it up, and move to the next. If it’s really hot and dry, we might need to repeat, but it’s a low-tech, low-expense way to work faster than standing there with a hose or moving hoses back and forth so we can mow.

Maybe that means less time on our feet overall, or maybe that lets us progress to our weeding and suckering or the next round of planting.

Learn here how to grow nutrient dense foods that will nourish your mind and body.

Seeding time – The Dibble

A dibble is basically just something that makes a hole for us. Usually, it’s a somewhat shallow hole and it’s usually intended for seeds but we can work with that. There are two general types, rolling or boards, although with leek dibbles (which work with any transplant), you walk around with a rake or double-handle tool poking your holes. Boards are typically set up with dowels that will poke holes, or come as cutouts and we use something to poke holes to our desired depths. Rolling dibbles tend to be drum or wheel style.

drum-or-rolling-dibbler-and-dibble-board-www_ncat_org

There are two general types, rolling or boards.

Plans are out there for dibblers that can run from almost nothing if you salvage parts or make minis out of coffee cans and 12” PVC or make a single, double- or triple row dibble wheel out of bikes from Craigslist. Drum styles can cost as much as $100-200 to make at home if you’re inclined to go that route instead. Some of the really fancy board dibblers even get marked in colors so one board can be used for spacings from 1” to 6”.

In no-till schemes where you drag a pointed hoe to clear a spot for seeds, dibble wheels tend to be handy. In tall raised beds and window boxes or trays, a board dibbler may be more beneficial.

Using dibbles at whatever scale we choose to lets us quickly mark the space for seeds and transplants. Even if we have to go back with a post hole digger for some of those transplants, time spent upright instead of crouched tends to make for happier backs.

Seeding time – Furrowing rake

A furrowing rake is the simple DIY result of adding tight, relatively stiff hose or PVC to an ordinary hay or garden rake, and using it to drag lines along a prepared bed. It’s typically done so that the extensions are movable, letting us go as tight as the 1-1.5” gaps of the rake tines out to the full 1-2’ width of that rake.

We can get as complex as we like, adding marker lines to tell us how deep we’re aiming, or using multiple depths so we can plant cutting salad greens in the shallowest grooves and have deeper grooves for our peas. We can drag it both down and across a bed to create a grid, with seeds going at the cross points.

rake-with-hose-for-seed-spacing-1-themarthablog-dot-com

A furrowing rake is the simple DIY result of adding tight, relatively stiff hose or PVC to an ordinary hay or garden rake, and using it to drag lines along a prepared bed.

Taking a few minutes to prep some moveable rods or pipes and lay out our grid – while standing – limits how much measuring we do while we’re bent or crouched, saving time and pain with a very quick and low-cost trick.

Seeding tubes or pipes

Dibbles and furrowing aren’t the only way to limit how much time we spend crouched over during seeding time. Even a congestion-planting scheme that calls for under-seeding doesn’t have to be done from a stool or our knees.

There are a couple of tiers of standing seeders for small plot growers, from this really simple version http://knowledgeweighsnothing.com/how-to-build-a-back-saving-pvc-corn-bean-seed-planter/ to this more advanced DIY https://thinmac.wordpress.com/a-homemade-seed-planter/.

Those aren’t really necessary, though. All you really need is a pipe smooth enough for seeds to roll through cleanly and sturdy enough to stand up straight.

If you want to work with tiny seeds as well as larger ones, maybe you lay on skinnier aquarium tubing to attach to a tool handle or yardstick (with rubber bands, even), and make yourself a pasteboard, tin-can or paper funnel and tape it in place. Use the back-end of a teaspoon or the little measuring spoon from somebody’s aquarium chemicals to fish out 2-5 seeds at a time.knowledgeweighsnothing-com-pvc-seed-hack

Seed tapes and mats

If we’re not digging the various seeding tubes, we can also use our rainy days or blistering hot days to make seed tapes out of strips of paper, or larger seed mats out of unfolded paper napkins and paper towels like these http://annieskitchengarden.blogspot.com/2009/09/september-22-2009-home-made-seed-mat.html & http://simple-green-frugal-co-op.blogspot.com/2009/12/construct-your-own-seed-mats.html . We don’t have to mix up some kind of funky glue like with some of the DIY-ers show. The toothpick dab of white Elmer’s the first site shows is water-soluble and works just fine.

When we’re ready to plant, we just zoom along exposing our soil or following her mix, lay out our mats, and cover them again. We can work in fair-sized lengths that we roll up around an empty tube and then just nudge along using a broom or hoe, or use a square or two at a time that lets us stagger our planting for a staggered harvest or interspersed companion flowers.

Seed mats and strips can also be made out of a single thickness of newspaper pages for larger seeds like peas and beans as well, although we’ll want to make a small 1/8” slit or poke a pencil-tip hole through to give our seeds a head start on busting through the heavier paper.

Essential health practices, the right way to take vitamins, and why they currently aren’t working for you.

Since we’re planting 3-6” or as much as 8-12” apart in those cases, whether we do rows or congestion beds, working with a larger paper size makes sense. The newspaper sheet will decay over the season, but being thicker, it does offer a nice head start for our seeds over the weed seeds that may be lurking below. Being thicker, it also does better if the seed gets that head start of a slit.

No more removing gloves. No more exposing seed packets to dirt and moisture, or unfolding and refolding and sticking them in a pocket as we try to keep track of where exactly the tiny black seeds landed in our bed. And since they’re evenly spaced instead of scattered in lines and areas, it’s minutely easier to tell which tiny baby dicot we should be plucking when the weeds start – at least we can work quickly in some of the gaps.

In the garden – Avoid the crouch-ouch

So why the focus on things that improve soils without hauling lots of bales, limiting all the bending, limiting the bending and time we spend watering (or pumping water), collecting trash to make all kinds of weird contraptions in the garden? It’s not just me being a greenie, I promise.

Especially for seniors and those with nagging pains and injuries, the ability to work standing upright or from a chair without leaning over or reaching far can not only increase the joy of gardening, but in some cases go as far as making gardening possible again.

Arthritic hands, shaking from an injury or age, and loss of full motor function from an accident can make it frustrating and painful even to fetch out and drop a lima or pea, let alone broccoli and spinach, and unless they’re willing to just punch some holes in a baggy and shake, just forget about iceberg and romaine and strawberry spinach.

The ability to work slowly over winter or summer to prepare for spring and autumn leaf and root crops, the ability to use a tube and funnel, then shake or scoop seeds using something they can actually grip is enormous.

This book teaches you everything from the soil up. Healthy soil – healthy you.

Reexamine how you garden

Even for those in good health or who just like to be out there, some simple and inexpensive DIY projects and some trash collection and reuse can save a lot of time.

That might make a difference in garden size now, while we’re working and balancing families. It will definitely make a difference later, when we’re depending on those gardens to feed us or add a little forkability and crunch to our starvation-staving diet (I loved that article, BTW).

Saving backs and creating easy-to-use tools can also let us involve our parents and kids a little more in some cases, giving them independence and sharing the satisfaction that comes from a meal we procured for ourselves. There’s little better in life than seeing that pride returned to your parents and grandparents, or watching it bloom in your children.

It also sucks to fail, especially when we have a lot of time invested in something.

Water reservoirs, reduced weed competition, proper seeding coverage, and workload-friendly seeding methods can help increase our rate of success, which encourages us to do it again.

Work Smarter Not Harder – In The Garden Sometimes in the preparedness folds, we really get wrapped around axles. We have so much that we’re learning and trying to do, and

Recall how almost all material on prepping says something about having at least one cornbread around the house? It’s, indeed, delicious, nutritious, and, all thing’s considered, very easy to make.

As I’m always on the lookout for great survival recipes, a couple of days ago, I stumbled upon this nifty cornbread recipe. The thing that stroke me is that I still can’t figure out if this thing should be served with something on the side, like some butter or cheese, or is more of a dessert. Well, it’s up to you to figure it out.

Anyway, the cornbread recipe I’m about to show you is not only very easy to prepare, but it also has a peculiar name. In Mormon tongue, this type of cornbread is called a Johnnycake. No comments there. I will do some more digging to figure out why it’s called that way (if you know, don’t be stranger and share with the rest of the community. So, without further ado, here’s how to make some Mormon Johnnycake.

Gathering the ingredients

For this recipe, you’ll need the following:

  • Two eggs. This recipe calls for both egg white and yolk.
  • One cup of buttermilk.
  • Two or three tablespoons of molasses.
  • Half a cup of all-purpose flour.
  • One teaspoon of salt.
  • One teaspoon of baking soda.
  • Two cups of Yellow cornmeal (you can find that at your local food market).
  • Two or three tablespoons of melted butter.
  • (Optional) Agave nectar.

All done gathering the ingredients? Neat! Put your chef’s bonnet on because it’s time to do some major cooking.

How to prepare Mormon Johnnycake

Step 1. Start by grabbing a baking dish or cast-iron skillet. To ensure that your Johnnycake won’t stick to the bottom, grease it with some butter, tallow or a little bit of sunflower oil.

Step 2.  Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 3. Grab a large bowl and add your eggs, buttermilk, and molasses. Give them a good stir with a whisk.

Step 4. Get another mixing bowl for your dry ingredients.

Step 5. Grab a flour sifter and get to work on that flour. You can skip this step if you like your bread with air bubbles.

Step 6. Add your salt and the baking soda.

Step 7. It’s now time to put everything together. Using a mug, add the dry ingredients to the bowl with the buttermilk, honey, eggs, and molasses. Don’t add it all at once. Empty the contents of a cup and slowly whisk the mixture. Do this until you’ve incorporated all the flower.

Step 8. The batter should be smooth. If it’s too watery, add some flour and whisk.

Step 9. It’s now time to add your cornmeal. Just like before, pour half a cup, and gently whisk it. Yes, I know it’s frustrating, but do you have anything better to do?

Step 10. When you’re done incorporating the ingredients, transfer the batter to the cast-iron skillet or baking dish.

Step 11. Stick the baking dish\skillet into the oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until it’s golden brown. To see if your Johnnycake is ready, use a toothpick to test the batter. If it comes out clean, it means that it’s ready.

Step 12. Johnnycake is what chefs like to call comfort food. Serve it on rainy or cold days with plenty of butter. If you like to turn it into a desert, pour some agave nectar or maple syrup on top. Enjoy!

 

 

An alternative way to prepare Mormon Johnnycake

This recipe’s extremely versatile. Although the classic recipe calls for oven or stove baking, there’s another approach. Called Hoe Cakes, it’s the Southern take on the original Mormon Johnnycake recipe. The major difference between the two is that the first gets you a classic bread loaf, while the latter is more, well, pancakes. Anyway, here’s how to make some delish Southern Johnnycake pancakes for breakfast.

Ingredients

  • One cup of flour.
  • One cup of cornmeal.
  • Two and a half teaspoons of baking powder.
  • One teaspoon of salt.
  • Three-quarters of a cup of milk.
  • Half a cup of water.
  • Half a cup of melted butter.
  • One teaspoon of vanilla.
  • Half a tablespoon of nutmeg.

How to prepare Southern-style Johnnycakes

Step 1. Take a large bowl and mix your flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, sugar, and cornmeal.

Step 2. Using your fingers, make a little hole in the center of your dry mix.

Step 3. Put the milk, egg, vanilla, melted butter, and water in the hole.

Step 4. Mix the batter using a whisk or a fork. Since Southern Johnnycakes are closer to pancakes than to bread, your batter should be silky smooth.

Step 5. Take a cast-iron skillet or a frying pan and place it over the oven. Set to medium-high heat. You can use butter to fry the Johnnycakes or some cooking oil. I personally prefer to use tallow.

Step 6. Using a ladle or a small cup, pour some batter in the skillet and fry. Once the bottom is golden-brown, flip it and fry the other side. Continue until there’s no more batter left in the bowl.

Step 7. Like in the first case, serve hot, with some agave nectar or maple syrup. If you want to turn this into a really fancy dish, you can also add some frozen berries.

Wrap-up

As far as the traditional Mormon Johnnycake is concerned, I believe you can turn it into a full-fledged bread if you skip the sweet ingredients. Yes, I know that it’s hardly a substitute for oven-baked peasant’s bread, but it’s super easy to make and requires no cooking skills at all. If you’re careful enough to store it in a zip-lock bag or airtight container, that loaf can last for at least a couple of weeks, if not months.

The traditional recipe calls for the bread to be served hot out of the oven. Well, it is possible to eat it stone-cold but doesn’t have the same taste. What do you think about the Mormon Johnnycake? Hit the comments section and let me know.

 

Recall how almost all material on prepping says something about having at least one cornbread around the house? It’s, indeed, delicious, nutritious, and, all thing’s considered, very easy to make.

Honey contains a treasure chest of hidden nutritional and medicinal value for centuries. The sweet golden liquid from the beehive is a popular kitchen staple loaded with antibacterial and antifungal properties that has been used since the early days of Egyptian tombs.

Honey’s scientific super powers contribute to its vastly touted health benefits for the whole body. The healthy natural sweetener offers many nutritional benefits depending on its variety. Ready for a natural sweetened life?

RAW HONEY

There are various types of honey. The best for overall use that is, for eating and for medicinal purposes, is raw honey. Raw honey is honey that has not been processed by man, it is the same honey that is found in the beehive and is not pasteurized with heat; it may however be strained or altered.

Raw honey contains many spores and pieces of wax from the honeycomb as well as bee parts, etc. Raw honey has the benefit of helping people who are suffering with allergies to local plants and many times is used by patients to treat their allergies.

If this is done, it has to be raw local honey, which is usually made from either a blend of local hives honey or comes from a single source hive that has collected nectar from local sources and has not been treated with heat to pasteurize it.

Raw honey also has the highest antioxidant properties of all honeys. For our purposes as preppers, raw honey is the type of honey that we should use; it has its enzymes still intact.

Heating above 125 degrees F for a half hour usually destroys the enzyme content of most foods. Enzymes are very beneficial to your health and will aid both in digestion and overall health.

Most farm stand and farmer’s markets and local beekeepers honeys will be raw and unpasteurized. If you have any doubts, ask the person selling it, but as a general rule they are not pasteurizing their honey.

PASTEURIZED HONEY

Pasteurized honey is like pasteurized milk, it has been heat treated, usually at 161 degrees F or higher. Pasteurization is done to kill the yeast spores that are present in honey and responsible for its fermentation if the water content of the honey reaches 25 percent or higher.

That is the reason why you keep your honey covered, to prevent it from drawing in water vapor from the surrounding air and diluting the honey until it reaches that critical 25 percent when the yeast spores will reactivate and begin fermentation.

Commercially produced honeys are often pasteurized because this also dissolves any sugar crystals that frequently develop in honey, giving it a granular appearance. People often see crystallized honey and think it has spoiled, but this is not the case, and simply heating it in a pan of water will melt the crystals back into solution. The reheating of crystallized honey is done simply by placing a jar of honey in a small pot filled with water and placing that inside of a larger pot and heating it.

STRAINED HONEY

Strained honey is honey that has been strained through a mesh cloth of some type. This removes many of the particles and contaminants in honey. It does not affect the enzymes and other properties of honey and is merely cosmetic.

FILTERED HONEY

Filtered honey is heated to about 170 degrees F in order to make it more liquid to pass through the fine filter. The filtering process removes all of the particulate matter, pollen grains, and air bubbles, and it is very clear and more liquid than untreated honey. This is the kind also very often found in supermarkets. It also tends to crystallize much less than raw honey, so is felt to be more attractive to shoppers than raw varieties.

CREAMED OR WHIPPED HONEY

Creamed or whipped honey is another type of honey that has been processed to remove many of the large sugar crystals and therefore is much less likely to crystallize. The process involves the pasteurization of raw honey and then the blending of it with 10 percent creamed honey to form a honey with very small crystals that usually will not coalesce into larger crystals. This type of honey is very spreadable and is often used by people for toast and sandwiches.

HONEYCOMB OR COMB HONEY

Comb honey is honey that is still in the wax honeycomb from the honey bee’s hive. Chunks of the honeycomb are cut out and packaged raw. It is identical to raw honey with the only difference being that it is still in the honeycomb. It is sometimes known as “cut comb honey”.

MANUKA HONEY

Manuka honey is the most powerful of the various medicinal honeys produced around the world. It originates from New Zealand and is made from the flowers of the tree of the same name. Manuka honey is a monofloral honey, meaning it originates from just one type of flower, as opposed to poly oral honeys which are the product of many different flower nectars.

Another name for the Manuka tree is the Tea Tree and it primarily grows in wild stands in Australia and New Zealand. The name Tea Tree originates from the famous Captain Cook who discovered Australia and upon landfall is said to have made a tea from the leaves of the Manuka tree. It is the same tree from which Tea Tree Oil is made.

Manuka honey has the highest viscosity (thickness) of any known honey and also therefore has a very strong antibacterial effect. Hence its use in the treatment of wounds, where it has been shown to prevent infections as well as promote rapid healing.

I have used it many times and can attest to its superiority over other types of honey. It also has been shown to be quite beneficial for use for skin ulcers as well as for burns, and even has been shown to be effective against MRSA (Methicillin Resistant Staph. Aureus).

As a Final Prepper, I highly recommend buying a few jars of this honey and using it exclusively for wounds, burns, and ulcers and use other less expensive honeys for eating and other purposes. It has an “earthy” type of taste to me and I am not particularly fond of it as a food, but that is just my personal preference.

Due to the limited number of Manuka trees there is naturally a limited supply of this honey available annually, hence it is much more costly than other honeys.

Beware of counterfeit types of this honey and buy it from a reputable dealer preferably from “down under” in New Zealand or Australia. Most of the honey sold worldwide as Manuka is counterfeit and made from oral sources other than the Manuka or Tea Tree.

Manuka honey’s strength and healing powers are actually measured by a system known as UMF or Unique Manuka Factor; the higher the value given in UMF labels, the stronger the healing properties. It is usually in a factor of ten range; for example ten plus, twenty plus, etc.

PURE HONEY

Pure honey is honey that has not been adulterated or changed by the addition of glucose, dextrose, molasses, corn syrup, starches, invert sugars, our, or any other foreign substances. The Chinese have been notorious for adulterating their honey and I would highly recommend not buying any honey from China for that very reason.

Unfortunately, there appears to be a lot of tampering with honey, especially from foreign sources.

If you can, buy local honey from a reputable beekeeper. There are many around and this should not be a problem. Finding a local beekeeper and recruiting him into your survival group is probably a very good idea.

Local honey will also have bene ts for any of your survival group members who have allergies. Again, crystallization of honey is not a sign of adulteration and comes about simply from honey’s sugar super saturation.

One not very scientific method for determining if honey is pure is to stir it into a glass of water. The adulterated honeys will dissolve much more quickly than pure raw honey, which tends to coalesce into clumps and take a little time to dissolve properly.

The Grading of Honey

A word about honey grading: Honey grading is primarily done on the basis of the water content of the honey as well as its particulate content and its color.

There are four grades of honey; A, B,C, and substandard. Grade A honey has the lowest water content, the least particulate matter, and is the clearest in color. Lesser grades have more of all of those factors.

Honey quality can also be easily evaluated by certain characteristics. The honey should flow off of a spoon in a straight stream without breaking up into drops. It should also bead up upon hitting a surface, and when owing onto a surface should form temporary layers that eventually disappear. This attests to its proper viscosity.

If your honey does not do these things then it probably contains too much water and is not suitable for long-term storage.

The color of honey tells you something in general about its flavor. The lighter honeys have a milder flavor and the darker-shaded honeys have a more robust flavor.

The overall color of raw honey is determined by the oral source of the bee’s nectar. However, long-term storage may darken a honey, especially if the honey is stored at a high temperature. Honey also lightens in color after it has undergone granulation. This is the reason that most forms of creamed honey are so light in color.

Over time many honeys tend to crystallize. This is normal and does not hurt the quality of the honey and can easily be reversed by gentle heating as described above. Depending on the type of honey, some such as Manuka, crystallize rapidly compared to Tupelo honey, which takes a very long time to crystallize. Crystallization means that the honey forms actual white-colored sugar crystals on the surface, this does not affect the quality or taste of the honey, and you should not discard honey that has done this.

How to Store Honey

  • Honey should be stored in either glass containers or food grade containers to prevent the leakage of any chemicals from a plastic vessel.
  • You should keep your honey in a cool, dark place out of direct sunlight and away from any heat source like a furnace or space heater.
  • Honey should always be in a closed container with a tight lid to prevent absorption of any humidity which will change the honey and promote its fermentation.
  • You should always use a dry spoon when scooping any honey from its container in order to prevent the introduction of any water into the honey.
  • Some honey purists feel that stainless steel spoons and other implements should not be used with honey, due to some subtle changes in the taste of the honey. Honestly, I have tried tasting honey with a wooden ladle and with a stainless steel spoon and I cannot tell any difference, so in my humble opinion, it doesn’t matter at all.

As a Final Prepper I would stock up on a large supply of raw local honey from a reputable source like a local beekeeper. You might even consider enlisting a beekeeper into your survival group. Or having some of your group members learn the art of beekeeping due to its incredible usefulness for a variety of survival uses from medicinal to nutritional, as well as pollination of your survival garden and orchard.

Since raw honey stored properly will last forever, and due to its multiple uses, I would keep as large a supply as you can afford. Honey will very likely be an important barter item in the post-apocalyptic economy.


This is an excerpt from the 800+ The Doomsday Book Of Medicine, by Ralph La Guardia. Let us know if you’re interested. And we’ll get back to you.

Since raw honey stored properly will last forever, and due to its multiple uses, I would keep as large a supply as you can afford. Honey will very likely be

It’s happening now. This is a real SHTF event. Major disaster has hit, power is out, everyone is panicking, grocery stores are being raided and emptied within hours, and cars are grid-locked trying to make their way to safety, anywhere. No one knows where that is.

As Preppers, we have already prepared for this eventuality. We already have our emergency supplies packed, it’s likely we have a plan in place as to where we are heading. And we’re long gone before the panic has set in. However, it’s all very well having your bug out bag ready, learning survival skills such as how to catch your own food, how to filter water, and how to start a fire, but if you don’t have a shelter; you’re missing the most important survival item you need.

If you spend any reasonable amount of time in the outdoors, you’ve probably heard of the ‘Survival Rule of 3’. You can survive:

  • 3 minutes without oxygen or in icy water
  • 3 hours without shelter in extreme environments
  • 3 days without water
  • 3 weeks without food

These four rules rely on the previous one being satisfied. So for example, you can only survive 3 hours without shelter if you’re not in icy water, you can only survive 3 days without water if you have shelter from a harsh environment and so on. Therefore, next to being able to breathe oxygen, shelter is the next most important element of survival if you find yourself in extreme weather conditions.

It’s likely that most Preppers will know how to make temporary shelter using materials you can find on the forest floor, but what about if the disaster or crisis descends into total chaos and it’s TEOTWAWKI? (The end of the world as we know it). Would you know how to make a more permanent structure for you and your family to live in? If you’re lucky, you might come across an old underground bunker, but you’ve not left anything else to chance in your methodical planning, so why leave this to chance?

You need to know how to build your own survival cabin. Let’s face it, when SHTF most of us are bugging out to the forest. There is good reason for that. In the forest you’ll find one of the most valuable resources that you need to build a long term shelter: wood. This type of survival shelter is going to require time and effort, so it’s important that you learn the basics right now rather than learn through trial and error and the time and waste resources.

First, let’s look at what you will need to make your survival shelter. Ideally, you don’t want to be carrying a ton of tools around with you, so we’ll focus on building a shelter that only requires you to have minimal basic tools that you’ll probably already have packed: an axe, a fixed blade knife and a multi-tool. Let’s not beat around the bush, if you were going to build the same shelter at your own leisure, you could make the process a lot quicker using a whole host of other tools, but this isn’t about speed, this is about building a shelter to keep you safe.

First things first, you’ll want to choose a log cabin plan. You’ll most likely want to build a square or rectangular cabin, around 14×14 foot. We’re going to use that as our example throughout this set of instructions. There are five main steps to building a survival shelter; choosing your site, selecting your logs, laying the logs, openings for windows and doors, and finally, raising the roof. Step one, and to some extent, step two are something you should go and research now. Step three through five, you’ll need to have written down so you don’t make any mistakes when it comes to the build.

Step One: Choose your Site

Get to know the site you intend to escape to now. How far away is it, how long will it take to get there, how will you get there? Choose somewhere you can get to either by foot, or with one tank of gas. Once you’ve found a few places that you can reach without too much difficulty, you’ll also need to make sure it is far away enough from main roads and cities. You don’t want to set up a shelter in plain sight for anyone to come and make their own.

Where are the nearest places for natural materials? You’ll need somewhere close-by to a water supply, plenty of trees to use both for your shelter and for firewood, somewhere that has an abundance of animals that you can trap. Ideally, you’ll also need some softer materials to create somewhere to sleep, initially grass will do.

You’ll also want to consider the temperature year round. If the area you’re settling is made up of hills and valleys, you’ll find both the top and the bottom gets cold quickly. It’s windy at the top, and the valleys trap the cold air. Settle around 3/4 up a hill if you do find yourself in this position.

Scout the area for poisonous plants; don’t set up a permanent shelter if there are any in the immediate vicinity. What are the trees like surrounding your proposed site? You’ll need some for protection, but you should make sure they’re not dead or they might fall down onto your shelter.

One last thing to think about is the natural elements. How will the rain fall and collect, is the land flat? Where does the sun rise and set, make the most of this to heat your shelter if you’re in a cold climate, or ensure you have shade if you’re in a hot climate.

Step Two: Selecting your Logs & Preparing the Site

The majority of trees are suitable for building a survival shelter. Even though hardwoods such as walnut, poplar or oak will give you a more durable build, they are harder to work with. Instead, choose Pine, Cedar or Spruce. If you don’t have an option – just build with whatever trees are growing in your area.

The trees you choose should be long enough to create the length of your shelter, or double if they’re large enough to get two lengths out of each tree. They will need to be around 10 inches in diameter, to provide you with sufficient insulation. The trees also need to be as straight as possible.

For a survival shelter of 14×14 feet, you’ll need logs that are 16 feet in length. The extra one foot either side of the log allows them to be notched together and provide an overhang to give a sturdy and solid join.
Note: If your logs are 10 inches in diameter, to create a 9 feet high shelter, you will need 11 x 16 ft logs for each side, and a further 10-15 logs to create two gable walls. You should put aside the best 7 logs, to use as the sill logs and the purlin and rafter logs.

Sill Logs: Four logs that will form the base of your shelter

Purlin Logs: Two logs that will join the gable walls and provide a surface to attach your roof

Ridge Log: One log which sits at the top, and joints the two gable walls.

To fell the trees, use your axe to cut them in the direction that they are naturally leaning. Briefly, the best way to fell trees is to make a horizontal cut 1/3 of the way into the tree just above knee height. Next, make a 45 degree cut upwards to meet the end of the first cut. Then, make a cut on the opposite side, around 2 inches above the first cut. The tree should then start falling. Once you have all your logs, cut off all the branches, and debark them using your axe or knife at a 30 degree angle.

Usually when building a log cabin shelter, you’ll want to lay foundations however it’s unlikely you’ll have access to all the heavy machinery and concrete in TEOTWAWKI scenario. Therefore, to prepare your site will be simple. You should clear any debris and leaves away, and level the ground as much as you can. You will need some form of foundation, so without access to concrete, you should do this: bury four upright logs into the ground, leaving around 3-4 inches sticking out of the ground. You will use these as posts to put your sill logs on.

Step Three: Raising the Walls

The first step in raising you walls is to put your four sill logs into place. These logs should be the four that are largest in diameter, straightest and longest. First, you need to take two of them. Use your axe to create a notch (hole) at either end of two sill logs.

To create this type of ‘reverse-saddle-notch’, put your log into the place it will eventually sit (on top of two of the horizontal posts that are buried into the group). Take your knife and mark where the log is going to sit. Using your axe, make a V shape in the underneath side of the log until the notch is large enough to create a snug fit around the horizontal post. Do this at both ends of two sill logs.

Take your other two sill logs, and notch the underside of them to fit onto the top of the two sill logs you’ve already laid. You will now have the perimeter of your log cabin. The rest of the process is simple, but time consuming. This could take you a couple of weeks depending on how much help you have. You are going to continue notching the underside of each log and stacking the walls until you have the height that you want before you start creating the pitched roof.

Step Four: Windows and Doors

To create the openings for your doors and windows, you can use your axe to create a hole. When you reach the height that you want your window or door at, start cutting and removing the logs one by one to make space for a door.

There are lots of tutorials about how to make doors and windows available. Just make sure that you have thought this through, so you’re not left with large open gaps which can get very drafty and will defeat the point of having shelter unless you’re able to cover them effectively.

One such way to make doors is to keep hold of some of the thicker branches when you fell your logs, and use rope or other natural resources such as fibrous plants to tie them together. You might also want to do this for the windows so that you can replace them during the night/when the weather is cooler.

Keep openings to an absolute minimum.

Step Five: Raising the Roof

The shelter is now almost finished, but this is definitely the heaviest and hardest stages of the entire build. You’ll need some good brute strength here. You’re now going to create to triangles on two opposite walls; these will form your gable walls. Continue building the logs up, gradually getting short in length using the same notching method. When you are half way up, you need to take the two purlin logs and notch them so that they connect the two gable walls, one either side of the triangular shape you’re creating.

Carry on building the two gable walls until you reach the tip of the triangle, and then use the large ridge log to connect the gable walls. This can be extremely heavy work depending on the size of the logs, and how much help you have.

Once your ridge log is in place, use some smaller diameter logs to lay over the ridge logs, purlin logs, and the top of the walls, onto which you can attach roof rafters. You might want to use branches, leaves and mulch to create your roof’s finish.

You Survival Shelter

And there you have it – a long lasting survival shelter than will keep you safe, warm and dry. The instances in which you might need to build a structure of this quality and stability are rare, but as mentioned earlier, rather plan for all eventualities, than end up in a situation of needing a permanent structure and not knowing how to create one.

The beauty of this structure is that trees are available in almost every area of the world, they are one of the most reliable building resources and so if you learn this simple technique, you’ll be able to build yourself a shelter wherever you are.

As Preppers, we have already prepared for this eventuality. We already have our emergency supplies packed, it’s likely we have a plan in place as to where we