Why zucchini ? One good reason? It is the season.

This food is low in saturated fat and sodium, and very low in cholesterol. It is also a good source of protein, vitamin A, thiamin, niacin, phosphorus and copper, and a very good source of dietary fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, riboflavin, vitamin B6, folate, magnesium, potassium and manganese.

The health benefits of zucchini include improved digestion, slows down aging, lowers blood sugar levels, supports healthy circulation and a healthy heart, improves eye health, boosts energy, benefits for weight loss, improves thyroid and adrenal functions, protects against oxidation and inflammation.

If you are a vegetable gardener, chances are you have experienced such an abundance of zucchini so great that even a ravenous family of squash lovers could never keep up with it. Right now, the garden is simply loaded with the prolific dark green veggies. And if not, you can pick up baskets full of them at a great price at your local market.

Some zucchini trivia

Biologically, zucchinis are closely related to cucumbers and watermelons. Zucchini is technically a fruit and not a vegetable.

They have been consumed in Central and South America, as well as Italy, for thousands of years, but only became popular in North America over the past 50 years, perhaps when gardeners realized what a bounty they could receive in a tiny amount of garden space. Zucchini is part of what is known by the Native Americans as the “Three Sisters” – three plants that grow well together – corn, summer squash, and beans.

Zucchini is packed with nutrients.

Here are some of the nutritional benefits of zucchini.

  • A huge 1 cup serving of zucchini, including the skin, contains 20 calories, 1.5 grams of protein, 4.2 grams of carbohydrates, and 1.4 grams of fiber.
  • Zucchini was proven in studies to be a top food source for antioxidants such as lutein, zeaxanthin, beta-cryptoxanthin, alpha-carotene, and beta carotene.
  • Zucchini is extremely high in natural pectin, which provides protection against diabetes and can help regulate insulin and blood sugar levels.
  • Zucchini contains Vitamins C, B6, B2, A, and K, as well as manganese, potassium, magnesium, folate, and phosphorus.

Growing zucchini is easy!

Zucchini is not just easy to grow – it can actually take over your garden if you’re not careful! Some people plant zucchini away from other parts of the garden for this reason. You should allow plenty of room for the vines to spread. If you are using the square foot gardening method, thin to one plant per square foot.

Here are some ways to use zucchini.

Zucchini is one of those multi-purpose harvests that can be used in a variety of ways. Whether you prefer it sweet or savory, there’s a place for zucchini in your kitchen.

If you end up with one of the baseball bat zucchinis hiding under the leaves in your garden, cut out the center and remove the seeds. Very large zucchini can become woody and flavorless. Try using over-large zucchini in recipes that call for shredded zucchini – this helps to mask the texture.

 

Try using shredded zucchini in place of recipes that call for shredded potatoes. You can also mix shredded zucchini half and half with shredded potatoes to make hash browns or potato patties.

Slice a zucchini in half and fill it with all manner of sweet or savory fillings to make baked zucchini boats.

Uncooked zucchini spears are great for dipping and make a tasty addition to a veggie tray. If the zucchini is a small, tender fruit, you can leave the peel on for an extra hit of fiber. For a bigger zucchini, it’s best to peel it for use raw, because the skin will be tough and unpleasant in texture.

 

With the garden in full zucchini overload, we’ve been scrambling to figure out ways to use it that are just a little different than the usual sauteed or grilled versions.

Here are our top, kid-tested zucchini recipes.

Zucchini Fritters

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of coarsely shredded zucchini
  • 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup of whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp of garlic powder
  • 2 tsp of onion powder
  • 2 tsp of MSG-free seasoning salt
  • fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/8 cup of cooking oil

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, mix together flour and seasonings.
  2. Stir in zucchini and cheese, using your hands to combine well.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the cooking oil until it sizzles when a drop of water is added.
  4. Form the zucchini mixture into patties and place them in the hot oil, taking care not to splatter yourself.
  5. Fry on each side for about 3-4 minutes or until a dark golden brown.
  6. Drain the fritters on a paper towel.
  7. Serve with sour cream or yogurt garlic dip (see recipe below)

Baked variation:

  1. Form the zucchini fritters as instructed above.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400*F
  3. Lightly oil a cookie sheet.
  4. Place the fritters on the cookie sheet and brush them lightly with oil.
  5. Bake for approximately 10 minutes on each side or until dark golden brown.

 

 

Yogurt-Garlic Dip

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of plain yogurt, drained until thick
  • 1 tsp of garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp of dried rubbed dill weed

Directions:

  1. With a fork, mix the seasoning into the yogurt.
  2. Place in the refrigerator for at least one hour to allow the flavor to develop.
  3. Serve with fresh veggies or zucchini fritters.

 

Zucchini-Carrot Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups of shredded zucchini
  • 1/2 cup of shredded carrot
  • 1/4 cup of milk
  • 1 tbsp of white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup of white flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp of nutmeg
  • dash of powdered clove
  • 2/3 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup muscovado sugar
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • turbinado sugar to taste

 

Directions:

  1. Grease muffin tin with butter or additional coconut oil.
  2. Preheat oven to 375*F.
  3. In a small bowl, add the vinegar to the milk and allow it to sit for 5 minutes.
  4. In a large bowl, mix together oil, sugar, and vanilla, then stir in the milk mixture, the carrots, and the zucchini.
  5. In another bowl mix together flours, spices, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
  6. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined – you will have a lumpy batter.
  7. Let the batter sit for 10 minutes to allow it to rise.
  8. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tin, sprinkle lightly with turbinado sugar, and then bake for 20 minutes or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.

 

 

Zucchini Chips

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup of Panko bread crumbs
  • salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450* F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with tinfoil, then lightly spray it with oil.
  3. Place the zucchini on the baking sheet then lightly brush with olive oil.
  4. In a bowl, mix together Parmesan, bread crumbs, salt, and pepper.
  5. Sprinkle the mixture on top of the zucchini slices.
  6. Bake until the zucchini is browned and crisp, about 25 minutes.
  7. Serve immediately.

 

There are several ways to preserve zucchini.

You may have so much you need to save it for later. Here are 3 ways to put it back.

Dehydration

Zucchini can be dehydrated either in thin slices or shredded. Either way, prep your zucchini, then mix well with salt. Place the salted zucchini in a colander over a bowl and put it in the refrigerator for a minimum of two hours. (I usually leave it overnight). This will remove a great deal of the moisture. Put a thin layer of zucchini on the shelves of your dehydrator and dry overnight on low, or until the zucchini is completely dry. When you’re ready to use it, reconstitute it by covering it in boiling water for 15 minutes. Drain and use as you would fresh zucchini.

Freezing

Unlike most vegetables, there is no need to blanch zucchini before freezing it. Simply shred it, drain it (don’t add salt in case you want to use it in sweet dishes like zucchini bread or muffins) and then place it on a cookie sheet in a single layer. Put this in the freezer for two hours, then relocate the frozen shreds into large freezer bags.

Canning

Zucchini really doesn’t take to canning well. However, you can use it in place of cucumbers for your favorite pickle or relish recipes. The large zucchinis that are a little bit tougher actually work better for zucchini pickles because they hold their firmness better.

Ingredients:

  • 3 pounds of zucchini
  • 1/2 cup of onion, thinly sliced
  • 6 cloves of garlic, smashed
  • 6 tsp of pickling salt (or another non-iodized salt)
  • 2 cups of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups of white vinegar
  • 2 cups of turbinado sugar
  • 1 tsp of mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp of black peppercorns
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 6 dried chili peppers or 2 tsp of crushed chilis
  • 6 sprigs of fresh dill

 

Directions:

  1. Thinly slice your zucchini (about 1/4 inch or less in thickness).
  2. Salt the zucchini, add the onion slices and place it in a colander over a bowl in the refrigerator for 2 hours to remove the liquid.
  3. Meanwhile place into each sanitized jar: 1 tsp of salt, 1 red chili, 1 clove of garlic, and 1 sprig of dill.
  4. In a saucepan on the stove, combine sugar, vinegar, turmeric, mustard seeds, and peppercorns. Bring to a boil.
  5. Making sure the jars are still warm from being sanitized, fill them with drained zucchini and onion mixture, allowing 1 inch of headspace.
  6. Pour the boiling liquid over the contents of the jar. Wipe the rims and cap your jars with snap lids and rings.
  7. Process in a water bath canner for 15 minutes (pints), making adjustments for your altitude.

 

What do you think?

Do you grow zucchini in your yard? What do you like to make with zucchini? Please share your thoughts in the comments.


Special thanks to Daisy Luther for this wonderful article. 

Why zucchini ? One good reason? It is the season. This food is low in saturated fat and sodium, and very low in cholesterol. It is also a good source of protein,

I really have to say that although I’m the kind of guy that would rather stick to a cup of tea when the cold hits, having a couple of pain meds around really helped me pick up the pace when I wasn’t quite feeling like myself.

The need for a painkiller becomes even direr in case of an SHTF situation. Sure, pain meds are great when you need to deal with a pulled muscle or soreness after an intense hike, but they become vital when you have an injury to tend. Because I was foolish enough to carry heavy boxes during my time as an intern, I now have a very sore back and a taste for pain relievers, especially ibuprofen.

Now, the problem with painkillers is knowing how to pick your poison. There are tons of pain meds on the market but, unfortunately, to some, most of them are regulated by Federal Law. That means no Vicodin if you haven’t received a Schedule II or III from your doc.

Every so often, the popping-pills-just-because-they’re-for-pain style has landed more people in the ER compared to those who experienced a nasty med side-effect. Yes, it can happen. If you read the label carefully, you will see that even stuff as basic as aspirin comes with a truck-full of side-effects.

True story: my late aunt was once rushed to the ER because she heard ringing in her ears for three days straight. Turns out that she was in that one percent of patients who have experienced auditory hallucinations after taking aspirin.

So, before you go out buying every over-the-counter painkiller you can find (won’t even consider discussing the heavy stuff like Vicodin) you will need to do a little research about known side-effects. Painkillers aren’t good if they end up causing more pain or killing you! So, before taking pills like Tic-Tacs, be sure to check in with your doc to see what kind of pain meds agree with your body.

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The list may be shorter than you think. One more thing before we tackle today’s topic – never, ever, buy meds online. Don’t get fooled by those flashy ads, giveaways or price cutbacks. The chances are that you will end up with sugar pills or God knows what. Also, if you care about your body, you would do well to stay away from stronger painkillers, even though you can order them online without a prescription.

Now, for those who are interested in stockpiling more pain meds, here’s my list of must-have over-the-counter painkillers and what they’re good for.

  1. Ibuprofen

Commercial name(s): Nurofen, Advil, Motrin.

Recommended daily dose (adult): 800 milligrams per dose or according to the doc’s prescription.

Recommended daily dose (child): 400 milligrams per dose or according to the doc’s prescription

Probably the most common painkiller on the market is the over glorified Ibuprofen. Because it is an NSAID (a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug), Ibuprofen is very effective at decreasing swelling and fever in addition to taking away the ouchie. It’s commonly used to treat stuff like tooth pains, muscle aches, cramps, headaches, and minor back pains. Careful about using Ibuprofen, though.

Some studies have pointed out that this med can cause renal failure if the patient has kidney problems. You should also refrain from using Ibuprofen if you have heart issues, as it is known to produce blood clots in a patient with cardiovascular issues.

Don’t be like yours truly and take it on an empty stomach because you’ll end up with one Hell of a tummy ache. A box of 30 x 800 mg pills costs around 14 bucks and, the best news is that you can buy as much as you want because no one is going to ask you about a prescription.

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2. Aspirin

Commercial name: Aspirin®

Recommended daily dose (adult): one or two tablets every 4 hours or two tablets every 6 hours

Recommended daily dose (child): same as adults. In case of children under 12, check with your doc.

You can’t get any more basic than aspirin when it comes to over-the-counter pain meds. Although it can be used in case of an emergency for reducing fever or swelling, aspirin is mostly used for muscle pains, headaches, toothaches, and cold-induced fever.

Be sure to drink plenty of water when taking the pill.

FYI: if you’re a hiking buff like me, you can reduce some of that soreness by taking aspirin in conjunction with paracetamol. Together, they’re great painkillers and will speed up your recovery. Be sure to take them before the soreness kicks in. Otherwise, you would end up just taking two pills.

3. Acetaminophen

Commercial name(s): Tylenol, Calpol, Panadol, Paracetamol, Bromo Seltzer, Actamin, and Tempra.

Recommended daily dose (adult): 1000 milligrams at one time.

Recommended daily dose (child): 5 doses in 24 hours based on the child’s weight.

Though it’s placed in the same pot as Ibuprofen (considered to be an NSAID), acetaminophen has more in common with aspirin. It’s very effective at relieving paint and breaking the cold- or flu-induced fever. Its effectiveness can be boosted when used with aspirin. Careful about taking too much because it can severely damage your liver.

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4. Naproxen

Commercial name(s): Naprosyn®

Recommended daily dose (adult): 750 milligrams for the first dose, then 250 milligrams every 8 hours.

Recommended daily dose (child): 1 gram per day or 5 milligrams per kilogram twice a day.

Naproxen is an NSAID commonly used to relieve pain and to bring down swelling and fever. Since it’s considered to be more kick-ass compared to Ibuprofen, it’s also used to treat other conditions such as tendonitis, gout, rheumatoid arthritis, and back pain (hooray for me!).

Be careful about taking too many pills, as it can lead to kidney failure. The best thing about using Naproxen over Ibuprofen is that the first starts working in 30 minutes or less, whereas the latter begins to act in 45 to 60 minutes.

Enough meds for you? Well, take it from someone who learned this the hard way: there’s no such thing as too many painkillers around the house. So, what are you waiting for? Go and stock, but remember to check in with your doc first before doing anything stupid.


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One thing before we tackle today’s topic – never, ever, buy meds online. Don’t get fooled by those flashy ads, giveaways or price cutbacks.

The pleasure of wine is doubled when you make it yourself for a few cents a bottle, using your own fruits and without unnecessary additives.

Home winemaking

Home winemaking is an excellent way to preserve any type of excess fruit, from apples to strawberries, and you also can make wine from herbs such as sage and parsley.  I have even heard of tomato wine!

With a little imagination, whatever fruit you have too much of can be made into some kind of wine.

Some fruit wines are easier to make than others. Grapes are the simplest fruit to ferment because grapes give off their juice willingly, tend to ferment quickly, and the waste, called lees, readily separates from the wine.

Dark-colored berries like blackberries and black raspberries make great wine, too, whether you use them alone or combine them with other fruits like apples or pears. In home winemaking, you always have the choice between fermenting fruits by themselves or in combinations chosen to enhance flavor, color, and aroma.

For example, I can make a batch from all apples to yield a light white wine or add a pound of frozen blackberries to the fermenting apples to make a berry pink rosé with a blackberry aroma. Or I can make the two batches separately and blend them later on when the wine is within a few weeks of being ready to bottle.

Fruits and fruit juices for winemaking can be held in the freezer, and freezing and thawing have a tenderizing effect on apples, pears, and other low-juice fruits. Another option is to can fruits or fruit juices in a water bath or steam canner for later use in wine

The importance of sugar

The alcohol content of wine or cider is determined by how much sugar is available for the yeast to convert to alcohol. For the finished wine to be stable in the bottle, it should have an alcohol level between 8 and 12 percent.

Winemakers use a simple instrument called a hydrometer to test the sugar content (as reflected in specific gravity) of a newly composed batch of wine, but that measurement becomes approximate when you top off with water or add additional sugar-laden juice.

Old-time winemakers routinely added additional juice or sugar to raise the alcohol content of their country wines, which were valued more for their headiness than their flavor.

The fruit wine recipe we listed in this article, which uses 2 pounds of sugar per gallon of wine, will generally yield a wine with an alcohol level of around 10 percent.

Very sweet fruits like wine grapes do not need this much sugar, but apples or pears may need a little more. Some winemakers prefer corn sugar for winemaking, but any type of sugar — including honey — can be used to make wine.

Making fruit wine without additives

If you were to buy a wine-making kit, it would come with these or similar additives, which shorten the time you must wait to bottle the wine. Over the years, wine-making kits have changed to include fewer sulfites but more clarifying agents.

A natural winemaker lets time take care of yeasts and clarity, but the choice is yours.

Bentonite is a fine volcanic clay that pulls particles from the wine, helping them accumulate at the bottom of the fermenter. This clarifying agent is used mostly with white wines.

Kieselsol and/or chitosan are gel-like clarifying agents made from sea creatures used to remove haze from wines.

Pectic enzyme may come with a fruit wine kit, and even natural home winemakers use this enzyme, usually in liquid form, to help fruits break down and release their sugars.

Potassium metabisulfite is a sulfite used to sanitize equipment, and in the past, it was used to stabilize the wine. It is sold as a powder or as Campden tablets.

Potassium sorbate is the sulfite used to stabilize wine, which means killing yeasts so they cannot process the remaining sugars. Sweet wines depend on the use of this sulfite, but dry wines can be allowed to become still on their own.

Best fruits for making wine at home

Apples – Make a light white wine, a good base wine for blending; best when aged at least two years.

Blackberries – Make a bold red wine, best when aged two years, or combine blackberries with apples or pears.

Blueberries – Make a light rosé that is ready to drink young at only a year.

Cherries – Delicious jewel-tone cherry wine is great for holidays and special occasions, best when aged two years.

Grapes – Fast, clean fermentation makes grapes the top fruit for winemaking. It can be blended with other fruit wines.

Peaches – Messy to make, but peach wine delivers a great aroma in a full-bodied white wine.

Pears – Pear wine can taste flat on its own but is much improved with the addition of raspberries.

Plums – Plum wine made from chopped fruits has excellent character and color. Plum wine matures young and is ready to drink after one year.

Rhubarb – Rhubarb wine is easy to make, but the wait is long for fully developed wine, up to 4 years.

Strawberry – A sweetheart of a wine, strawberry wine has a long fermentation period, so don’t rush to bottle it. Strawberry wine is best when aged for at least one year.

Raspberries – Use raspberries on their own, or combine them with other fruits to improve the color and aroma of wines.

Step by step guide for making fruit wine

Recipes for making fruit wine, sometimes called country wines, vary only slightly from one to another. That being said, you have tremendous flexibility in the fruits and fruit juices you use.

The following measurements are recommended for a 1-gallon batch.

You will need:

  • 3 quarts water, boiled
  • 6 drops liquid pectic enzyme
  • 4–6 pounds fresh fruit, cut into small pieces
  • 2 pounds sugar
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 packet wine yeast

Optional – 1 can of frozen white grape juice concentrate

How to make fruit wine

1. Start by placing the fruit in a fermentation bag inside a sanitised primary fermenter. Mix the sugar with 2 quarts of hot water and carefully pour it over the fruit. Add the lemon juice, pectic enzyme, grape juice concentrate (if you decide to use it), and additional boiled, cooled water to bring the water level up to 1½ gallons.

When the temperature cools to 72°F, test the specific gravity or taste the liquid. As a general rule, it should taste quite sweet, similar in sweetness to a light syrup.

Add the yeast and cover the primary fermenter and make sure you provide a means for gases to escape (using an airlock is recommended).

2. Every 5 to 6 days, you should stir the fruit in the fermentation bag. Turn it in various ways so that a different side of fruits floats to the top. Do not use your hands and use some sterile utensils. The liquid will become cloudy and slightly effervescent. Use a spoon and taste the liquid, and you should notice a drop in sugar level by the fifth day.

3. After about a week, when the fruit in the fermentation bag has become a gooey mess, lift it from the container and let the juice drip back into the wine. Take your time with this operation and avoid squeezing the bag. Let the wine rest for a few days. Do not throw away the fermented fruit and use it in your compost pile.

4. Without wiggling the container, siphon the clear part of the juice into a clean glass bottle and fit it with an airlock. Make sure to leave about 4 inches of space between the bottom of the airlock and the top of the liquid. In case needed, add boiled, cooled water to bring the liquid to this level. Install the airlock.

5. The bottled wine should be placed in a dark room at a temperature ranging between 60 and 70°F. You can cover the bottle with a towel to protect the wine from light. Light will change the color of your fruit wine, so this step becomes mandatory to preserve the color.

6. After about a month, you can siphon the fruit wine again into a clean bottle. This operation is called racking. Move your fruit wine to a cool place, and check the airlock monthly to make sure it’s clean and functions properly. After three months, you can rack it again.

7. Some people avoid using sulfites to kill any live yeasts remaining in the wine. If you decide to do the same, then you must wait for the wine to consume the sugar (also known as becoming “dry”) before bottling it. The wait time for the fruit wine to become dry takes about six months. In the last month, move the fruit wine bottle to normal room temperature, just in case higher temps stimulate activity by surviving yeast.

8. Your fruit wine is finished, and it can be bottled when no air can be seen escaping through the airlock for several days. Also, no bubbles should be present around the top edge of the wine. If you are doubtful that your fruit wine is ready, just wait some more time. If you bottle the wine before it becomes still, it will pop the cork, and it will make a mess in your pantry or cellar.

9. In general, I recommend you allow the bottled fruit wine to age for at least a year before tasting it. Many folks will taste their fruit wine during the bottling time and feel it too rough to be enjoyable. However, this “rough” wine will mature perfectly if you give it the proper time. We let our fruit wine mature for two years, and we obtain amazing wine from our organically grown fruits.

Concluding

Making fruit wine is not a complicated endeavour as long as you follow a few simple rules and you keep strict hygiene. If you are growing fruits on your homestead, you should definitely give fruit wine a try, and you won’t regret it. This article will provide you with all the basic info and the step-by-step guide to make your fruit wine, so all you need is the will to try it.

The pleasure of wine is doubled when you make it yourself for a few cents a bottle, using your own fruits and without unnecessary additives. Home winemaking Home winemaking is an excellent

Portable backpacking camp stoves can be an invaluable tool for preppers for many obvious reasons.

  • Sometimes you don’t have the ability to build a campfire, and sometimes you don’t have the time.
  • Some stoves use natural fuels more efficiently than a traditional campfire
  • Sometimes it’s just nice to be able to whip out a small stove and make a quick hot drink or heat water for a freeze dried meal.

Whatever your reason, be it camping, long-distance hiking, bugging out, or a grid down emergency, or even something else, a small camping stove should be part of your survival kit. However, there are a great many different ones out there, all using different types of fuel. We are going to look at six, all of which can be easily tossed into a bugout bag, or stashed with your camping gear.

The Top Backpacking Stoves for fast cooking when you need it the most

Etekcity Camping Stove

Etekcity Camping Stove

This lightweight little gem uses common 7/16” thread butane or butane/propane canisters that are widely available in camping and backpacking supply stores. While relying on stored fuel for SHTF is limiting, this fuel is easy to stockpile, and the reality of a camping stove in your emergency gear is more focused on the short term than long term use. In other words, this is the stove you use to heat your food when you are bugging out, or when the power goes out.

Because of the small burner size of this stove, you aren’t going to be whipping out your favorite cast iron skillet and frying up some bacon with it. It will work best with lightweight camping cookware or military mess kits. This further drives home the fact that this is a strictly short term or emergency stove. You are basically going to use it to heat water or reheat canned foods. You can do more complex cooking tasks with it, but you are sorely limited by the kind of cookware you can use on it.

Overall though, if you need a basic stove to toss in your BOB, or in the back of your car for an emergency, and have the kind of fast cooking foods in your cache that work best with this kind of stove, you will be just fine.

Find the Etekcity on Amazon

 Canway Camping Stove

Canway Rocket Stove

So-called “rocket stoves” have long been one of my favorite choices for an emergency stove. Capable of burning almost any dry organic matter (leaves, twigs, pinecones, etc…), they allow a prepper to use fuel that would commonly be ignored, which increases the utility of such stoves.

The Canway stove is an inexpensive and easy to pack away stove. Because fuel can be readily scavenged in most places, you really only need to pack a way to start a fire (although it couldn’t hurt to pack a small amount of wood or such, so you are certain of having fuel).

Like any camping stove, you are somewhat restricted on the weight you can put on it. But again, our goal here is a portable emergency stove. One big disadvantage would be operating in very wet climates or deserts where fuel might be scarce. However, those are fringe situations, so for most folks under most circumstances, this is a great little stove. I’d prefer something with a different fuel source if I were certain of not being able to find fuel.

Find the Canway on Amazon

Coleman Bottle Top Propane Stove

Coleman Stove

A classic camping stove, the Coleman bottle top stove is a bit clunky for a BOB, but it fits in great with other emergency gear if you are already invested in equipment that uses one pound disposable propane bottles.

And therein lies the rub. If you are already using those bottles, great. If not, this is not the stove for you. It is a tad clunky, and while that is a benefit for rough handling, the stove and bottle take up precious room in a BOB that could be used for other things.

Honestly, this is a stove better suited to keep in your vehicle, at home, or in your rural cabin. The bulky nature of the propane canisters alone should be enough to keep it out of any emergency kit that doesn’t include a vehicle to haul it around in. On the other hand, it is a great stove using a common fuel supply. Just use it where it works best, and not where it will be an irritant.

Find the Coleman on Amazon

Lixada Camping Stove

Lixada Camping Stove

This combines two of my favorite stoves – a wood burner, and an alcohol stove. While not as efficient as a proper rocket stove, the wood burning option is just too good to pass up. Plus, it uses the kinds of small sticks and such that often get passed over for campfires.

But what is really
great about the Lixada stove is the alcohol burner unit. Almost identical to the stoves issued by the Swedish Army during the height of the Cold War, these alcohol stoves burn common isopropyl or denatured alcohol, are indoor safe, and are more than suitable for common on the go cooking tasks.

Having used nearly identical stoves, I really enjoy the fact that a small bottle of fuel alcohol can last for a number of days, while still giving me the ability to have plenty of hot drinks and meals.
In fact, I’ve used these kinds of stoves extensively in the sometimes unpleasant climate of the Puget Sound, and keep one for indoor use when the power goes out.

By combining an easy to transport stove that uses wood or alcohol, Lixada gives the prepper a lot of great options for an emergency or camping stove.

Find the Lixada on Amazon

Esbit Folding Stove

Esbit Folding Stove

Esbit and similar solid fuel tablet stoves have been used by military and campers around the world for decades. The ultimate in minimalist stove design, these pocket sized stoves can be tucked away almost anywhere, along with their fuel. This might be the ultimate bugout bag or small survival kit stove, but it of course will have some drawbacks.

The upside to a stove you can stick in your coat pocket is that well, it is a stove you can stick in your coat pocket. You aren’t likely to cook a gourmet meal over this thing, but you can make plenty of hot water, heat up canned foods, and the like, but as with every other stove we’ve looked at, your big limitation is on cookware, rather than the energy output of the stove.

That said, an Esbit also makes a great backup stove. Since a stove and enough fuel to cook with for several days takes up about the space of an AR-15 magazine, you would be well advised to at least pack one as a spare, or stick one in your glovebox. You never know when a stove will come in handy.

Find the Esbit on Amazon

Bushcraft Essentials XL Outdoor Stove Bushbox

Backpack Camp Stove

The Bushcraft Essentials XL stove is by far the most expensive one on the list, but what I like about it is it’s probably the easiest one to fit into a backpack or pocket. The German-made stove is quick and easy set up; you just unfold it and the stainless steel plates drop right into place.

The other great thing about this stove is you can use pretty much any organic matter as fuel so you don’t have to worry about carrying extra fuel. When your done cooking, just fold it up and slide it into your pack.

Find the Bushcraft Stove on Amazon

Choosing An Emergency Camp Stove

If you are looking for a stove for your bugout bag, all the stoves reviewed here, except for the Coleman are perfect for sticking in a bugout bag or small survival kit. Which one you choose is largely up to you.

There is a lot to be said for a stove that  allows burning scraps of wood or other biomass, but that won’t always be an option. For instance, if you are keeping a stove for a grid down emergency, a biomass stove won’t work very well indoors. An alcohol stove on the other hand will.

Stoves using some sort of fuel source have the advantage of a reliable, packaged fuel that can generally be counted on to do the job. Of course, once that fuel is gone,
your stove isn’t of much use, and fuel containers can take up valuable space in an emergency kit.

On the flip side, carrying enough fuel for several days or even a couple weeks generally won’t take up much room, and as it is a consumable, your pack will grow lighter with each use.

Your choice in an emergency stove boils (hehe get it, boils?) down to what kind of space you have set aside for a stove, and what your personal choices are in fuel, and these are only choices you can make.

Ultralight Backing Stoves: Are they part of your Bug Out Survival Gear?

Emergency camping stoves do not have to be expensive, or complicated. Many are made for military or backpacking markets, which lead to lightweight, easy to use and efficient products that do the primary job of heating water or prepared foods very well.

While you are somewhat limited by the small size of these stoves, you’ll find for emergency and grid down situations; they will be the difference between a hot meal
or one that tastes like cold MRE’s and sadness.

The peace of mind a good stove in your emergency kit is invaluable, and just knowing that it is there if you ever need it can be a real relief. The morale boost of a hot meal in an emergency, or the life-saving ability to boil water cannot be measured in dollars, but rather measured in personal satisfaction.

If you don’t already have a stove in your emergency kit or BOB, you should. If you already do, then you are that much ahead of the game!

Portable backpacking camp stoves can be an invaluable tool for preppers for many obvious reasons. Sometimes you don’t have the ability to build a campfire, and sometimes you don’t have

Beef jerky…the stories I could tell you about this stuff. I’m just going to say that I would marry beef jerky if that were possible (thinking about moving to state or country). Anyway, beef jerky’s awesome and, from where I stand, has but one caveat – not enough of it to go around. I mean, c’mon, I know it’s supposed to be emergency food or trail food, but who in God’s name eats just one 20g bag? It’s like saying “hey, it’s game night, and I’m gonna drink just one beer or eat one bag of chips.”

As far as a survival food is concerned, jerky’s the right call since it’s packed with just enough protein and fats to keep that engine of yours running. Sure, they’re salty AF and feels like you’re chewing on a rubber band, but it’s amazingly delicious. Since most of you are busy with your jobs and have neither the time nor the mood to replenish your beef jerky stocks, I thought about sharing with you my mouthwatering homemade beef jerky recipe.

It’s super easy to make and, most importantly, it mostly requires ingredients you probably have in your pantry. Why make beef jerky at home when you can always order some online? Because, let’s face it – as cheap as store jerky is, it’s pretty hard to find one that’s exactly the way you like it. Some are chewy, others salty as Hell and some, well, taste like crap.

First of all, preparing your own beef jerky puts you in full control of the dish, from choosing the beef cuts, all the way to the cooking part. Second, by choosing to cook rather than buy, you can make it as salty or sweet as you like. Last, but not least, beef jerky’s one of those recipes that don’t require an advanced degree in rocket science in order to prepare.

So, without further ado, here’s how to make some delish beef jerky at home.

Ingredients and Utensils

For this recipe, you will need the following:

  • Angus beef sirloin. I use around two pounds of beef for this recipe. Once you get it dried, you end up with one large zip-lock bag of beef jerky.
  • Worcestershire sauce (three-quarters of a cup).
  • Soy sauce (three-quarters of a cup).
  • Smoked paprika (one tablespoon).
  • Honey (one or two tablespoons).
  • Ground black pepper (two teaspoons).
  • Hot chili flakes (one or two tablespoons, depending on preference).
  • Garlic powder (one teaspoon).
  • Onion powder (one teaspoon).

That’s it for the ingredients. As for kitchen utensils, you will need a large bowl to mix your ingredients, an oven tray, baking paper, a pair of scissors, and, of course, a zip-lock bag for the jerky. All done gathering your utensils and all of the ingredients? Take your time. I ain’t going anywhere. When you’re ready, here’s how to put everything together.

Preparing mouthwatering beef jerky

Step 1. Take your beef cut out of the bag and wash it thoroughly. Dry with a couple of paper towels or place in a strainer.

Step 2. In a large bowl add your Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, smoked paprika, honey, ground pepper, hot chili flakes, powdered garlic, and powdered onions. Whisk the ingredients using a fork or, well, a whisk.

Step 3. Cover the bowl with some plastic wrap and place it inside the fridge for half an hour.

Step 4. It’s now time to tend to the meat. Using a very sharp butcher’s knife, cut the meat into thin strips – if it’s easier, make stake-sized bits.

Step 5. Take a big zip-lock bag from the pantry and put the beef inside.

Step 6. Get the bowl out of the fridge and pour over the beef. Seal the bag and place in the refrigerator. Leave the meat to soak up all those juices for at least a couple of hours. Ideally, you should leave it overnight. Remember – the longer you marinate your meat, the tastier it will be. I usually keep it in the fridge for one or two days.

Step 7. When you’re ready to cook the meat, preheat the oven to 176 degrees – yup, you’ll need ultra-low heat. The idea is to dry the beef cuts, not to bake it.

Step 8. Take the marinated beef out of the bag.

Step 9. Place the meat on an oven tray covered with baking paper. Use a paper towel to soak the excess marinade.

Step 10. When the oven reached the desired temperature, stick the tray in the oven and cook for 4 to 5 hours. Every hour or so, flip the beef cuts.

Step 11. When they’re done, take them out of the oven, allow the cuts to cool down, and cut them into thin strips using a pair of scissors or a knife. Bag and tag!

Another Way to Prepare Beef Jerky

Don’t go anywhere, because this was just the warm-up. Okay, so you now know how to prepare beef jerky at home. But can you do the same, say during a shit hits the fan situation? Beef jerky is, more or less, the beauty of the best – thought it looks totally unpalatable, it’s actually delicious, nutritious, and, on top of that, it can be made anywhere and with any type of meat.

Now let’s imagine for a moment that you’re lost in the woods and you run out of food. Obviously, you’ve got to do something about it. Now, if you still have your bug out bag with you, whip out a snare and wait. Keep in mind that beef jerky can be made with any kind of meat.

However, if you want your trail snack to contain all the proteins and fats your body needs to keep on going, you would want to stick with red meat or fish. When you’re done with the gutting and butchering parts, here’s what you will need to do in order to prepare jerky.

Step 1. Find a clean spot to set up your working area.

Step 2. Use your survival knife or a very sharp rock to cut the flesh into very thin strips (half a centimeter). Don’t forget to cut across the grain, not with the grain (those muscle fibers will make meat harder to chew).

Step 3. While the meat’s still wet and tender, season it with your condiments of choice. I like to keep stuff like ginger, cumin, sugar, salt, pepper, and chili in small pill bottles. You can also make your own mix which you can use to season the meat. Put a little bit of sugar if you have some in your bug out bag.

Step 4. It’s now time to create some sort of drying rack. Look around for twigs, long stick or branches. If there’s nothing available, you can always hang the meat cuts by a low-lying branch using heavy duty zip ties. Just be careful to place that meat within eyeshot because it’s bound to attract some unwanted attention (flies, mosquitoes, and, yes, even bears).

(Optional) If you want to a little smokey flavor to your meat, place it over a small campfire. Don’t leave there too long, though. You’ll want to dry your meat, not cook it. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with some BBQed game, but it tends to spoil faster.

Step 5. If you manage to improvise a drying rack, flip the meat every couple of hours. Depending on weather conditions, like wind, humidity, and temperature, it can take up to four days for the meat to lose all moisture.

Yes, I know it’s a painstaking process. More so because you’ll need to be on the lookout for critters. On that note, when it’s time to hit the sack, don’t forget to bring the meat inside your tent or improvised shelter. Obviously, you won’t be able to keep an eye out while you’re asleep.

Step 6. After a couple of days have passed, take a look at the meat. You’ll know it’s ready to eat when the meat has a brittle aspect. If you prepare jerky from red meat, the color you’re looking for is a purple-brown. On the other hand, if you’re using white meat, the jerky will turn pink-grey when it’s done.

Step 7. All that remains to be done is to cut the meat into thinner strips and to store it in a zip-lock bag or an airtight container.

Wrap-up

Taking all these facts into account, I would have to say that jerky is indeed the ultimate survival food. Given the right storage conditions, a batch of jerky can last for at least a couple of months, if not for a whole year.

Now, as far as the oven-drying version is concerned, I would advise ditching the salt. Yes, I know that salt and jerky is a marriage made in Heaven, but the soy sauce adds and smoky taste to the meat, which means that it doesn’t need extra. Of course, if you’re not a big fan of soy, you can always replace with two tablespoons of rock salt.

I don’t know about you, but I like to add some kick to my jerky. If you want your snack to be spicier, you can add half a teaspoon of Tabasco in addition to the chili flakes. Yes, I know it sounds pretty hardcore, but hey, at least your jerky won’t be bland.

One of my friends told me that it’s also possible to prepare beef jerky using a dehydrator. Remember my powdered eggs recipe? Well, the method’s more or less the same. The only advantage of using a dehydrator instead of a regular oven set on ultra-low heat is that it reduces the cooking time by at least one, maybe two hours. If you have one of those gadgets in the kitchen, you should definitely try it out.

One more thing – the meat itself. Though I highly recommend using sirloin for this recipe since the cut will be, well, chewier, you can use whatever meat you prefer. Just be sure it has the same amount of fat as sirloin. Haven’t tried it yet, but from what I heard, jerky prepared from fish like rainbow trout, tuna or salmon is absolutely divine. Trouble is that it’s very hard to get ahold of a good recipe and most of the stuff on the market looks way too nasty.

So, here’s where I take my love. Hope my little winding has managed to convince you that making your own beef jerky is better than having to go through hundreds of Google pages in order to find the right one. As always, don’t think of cooking as something you need to do – have fun around the kitchen. Play some tunes. Work on your air guitar skills; whatever floats your boat. What do you think about my beef jerky recipe? Hit the comments section and let me know.

Beef jerky…the stories I could tell you about this stuff. I’m just going to say that I would marry beef jerky if that were possible (thinking about moving to state

Having read hundreds if not thousands of articles on preparedness, one of the common themes that I see consistently among all authors on all platforms is the focus on skills. Certainly, the advantages are obvious; if you know how to make a fire, then you’re able to do it in the moment without having to break out your boy scout manual and fail multiple times in the moment. You can practice on your own time during a non-emergency, and learn everything there is to know about knots, cooking, preserving, growing. In the moment, you can’t ask an attacker to pause so you can quickly study up on your Tae Kwon Do, or ask the oncoming floods if they could recede for long enough for you to build an adequate barricade for your home.

That said, as a budding young prepper a few years ago, I found it completely overwhelming having to not only purchase so many supplies, but also find the time to learn how to garden, how to start fires, how to build shelters, make home repairs and fire a gun all at the same time. That said, here are some buy-it and forget-it supplies that require nothing more than a few dollars in your pocket and a place to store this potentially life-saving equipment.

  1. Weather Radio

A weather radio, particularly one that includes a hand crank and options for lighting or charging, such as solar, is an essential supply for anyone who has to deal with the wrath of nature from time to time. In case of a power outage, this can charge your phone, light your way through the night, or provide the information you need to make quick decisions for your own welfare. We love this one!

Any good weather radio should be small, and offer multiple charging options. It should be easy to program, and you should probably store it with it’s instruction booklet. Since these devices are so incredibly easy to use, there is almost nothing that you’ll have to do in order to make it work for you, although those who don’t have experience working a radio dial may find it a little difficult to use the old-fashioned technology.

  1. Emergency Cell Phone Batteries

An emergency cell phone battery is exactly what you’d think it is – a portable power source that you can use to charge any device in a pinch. Most of these devices come pre-charged at local stores, although you may have to charge the ones you purchase online. I have one of these at my house for every family member with a device, and we use them so often it’s become second nature for every family member to grab one on their way out the door. In fact, one of our home’s phone charging stations is entirely dedicated to recharging just these battery packs.

What makes these chargers so great is that they function so well on the go. It may look awkward at first to be holding your device with the charger attached, but it works.

It’s also possible to purchase these for your bug out bags, or to keep one in a vehicle, but keep in mind that the battery’s charge will wear off over time. This provides a good opportunity to review your bug out bag every six months or so as you remove the battery packs for charging.

If you do decide to grab some of these, I’d highly recommend getting the highest mAh capacity you can get (this is the measure of how much of a charge a battery can hold). While this will increase price, and while you may never use the full capacity to charge a device, if you’re storing these for emergency use as I described above, then you want to keep the charge for the longest possible time.

  1. Mylar Blankets

It’s an emergency blanket. Not much more needs to be said other than the fact that these make an excellent, lightweight addition to a bug out or get home bag.

  1. Lifestraw (or other portable water filter) and Water Storage tanks

Outside of unwrapping a Lifestraw, there is not much to using it. You simply find some water, and suck in on the correct end of the filter.

Other portable water filters are, admittedly, slightly more difficult, but nothing so complicated that you can’t figure it out in the moment. When taking a group of 8th grade students on a camping trip a few years ago, they were all able to use a filter to strain out some clean drinking water without spilling much, and let’s face it, if an 8th grader can do it, so can almost any adult.

Water is a top-3 item that you’ll need to consider when prepping, and having a few portable filters in your home and in your bug-out equipment will help alleviate one of the largest concerns with water. The other concern is equally easy to handle – water storage can be very easily handled by simply purchasing some water bricks or some other convenient storage solution and filling it. No skill required there.

  1. Long-Term Food Storage

When purchasing supplies for just yourself, I could see the argument behind trying all of the long-term food options before committing to purchasing a huge quantity of flavors you might not enjoy. That said, for a family, any variety pack will likely include enough variety to keep everyone happy. Like the Water Storage equipment, this is as easy as buy, store and forget.

  1. Car Jumper System

A great buy-and-stash item that you’ll use rather frequently if you drive an old clunky car like I do is a car jumper system to jump your car. This is essentially a high-powered lithium battery that you can charge and store in your trunk. If you need to jump your car, pull out the instructions and follow along with getting your car started. I own three different models (one each for myself, my teenage daughter, and my wife), and each of them has the same three step approach to getting them set up. When you need it, you no longer need to rely on some good Samaritans to stop to help you jump your car.

All of these will bring you some peace of mind so you can sweat the harder stuff.

Having read hundreds if not thousands of articles on preparedness, one of the common themes that I see consistently among all authors on all platforms is the focus on skills.