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If the collapse happens and you are in survival mode, your long-term food requirements must be taken into consideration. Finally, whatever food you have packed away will run out and then you will have none in your cupboard. For this reason, you need to use the time that you consume to grow your own food in your food stores, food that will be ready when your stores are gone.

Perhaps the most important thing to consider when it comes to increasing food for survival is that when it comes to ease of growth certain foods are better than others, nutritional content, caloric content, and ease of storage. That is why, you need to have good knowledge of the best foods to grow for survival, particularly if you have limited space or are trying to decide which kinds of seeds to stockpile.

How Native Cultures Did It

Thousands of years ago, native communities around the world learned that agriculture was an important part of survival. Hunting and foraging could only take us so far and it gave us a more reliable source of food being able to plant crops. In North America, several tribes had subsisted on what they called the three sisters most of the year, which were corn, squash, and beans. Similarly, South America relied on corn and beans; and potatoes. People in China have raised enough food on a few acres of land for thousands of years to feed their families, and still have enough to barter for other products. Such ancient cultures are strong examples of how to survive farming.

The Hardy Foods

First, growing your own food, nothing is off limits. You can grow anything you want to include in your diet and you will have a great abundance of food during the summer months. Things like tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, and broccoli are all great foods to grow, vitamin-rich and mineral-rich. But, these aren’t the hardy foods that will get you through the winter, especially when your preservation methods are limited. Ideally, you want food that once it has been harvested, it can be stored as is or dried and prepared for winter use. For this reason, the suggested staples to plant and grow for year-round sustenance are as follows, starting with the three sisters.

Beans

For so many reasons, beans are one of the very best staples. First, they are very high in protein, vitamins, and minerals, and they are also very high in calories, providing most of the survival energy needed. But beans are very flexible, too. They can be freshly eaten off the plant or dried on the vine, harvested, and processed. When dried, beans have an incredibly long shelf-life. They can be prepared in a wide variety of ways, for instance in soups, baked and eaten with breads, or simply eaten alone. Its versatility as a meal is almost infinite. Finally, beans give back nitrogen to soil, other crops need something else. It makes them a good crop for rotation.

Corn

corn-survival food

The first thing you need to know about growing corn for survival is you won’t raise your usual sweet corn. Instead, Native Americans grew grain corn, which was traditionally grown and dried on the stalk for harvesting and stockpiling. Corn is extremely easy to grow. It can be ground and processed into a variety of breads, and used as a soup thickener. Corn and beans can be combined to form a complete protein.

Winter Squash

Squashes-survival-food

During the winter months winter squash is very hardy and easy to store. There are several varieties, for instance acorn, butternut, spaghetti, and Hubbard. Pumpkins fall under that group as well. Store them in a cool, dark place for up to 6 months and you’ll enjoy this nutritious staple together with your corn and beans.

 

Potatoes

potatoes-survival food

The humble potato might be associated with Ireland in the minds of many people (think the Great Irish Famine), but it is actually native to South America and was not known anywhere else in the world until after Columbus sailed. Potatoes are so easy to grow in a variety of climates and types of soils and their use has spread throughout the world. They will also sustain you when you have no other food available for an extended period of time.

Carrots

Carrots survival food

Also, carrots are a very good root vegetable that will store well during the winter months and provide essential nutrients and variety in your diet. You can grow carrots as long as you have sandy, well-draining soil. When you’re not in an area that’s going through difficult winters. you can cover your carrots with a thick mulch layer to shield them and just leave them to the ground. You can store them in a refrigerator or root cellar if you have to harvest them.

Cabbage

cabbage-survival food

Cabbage is a worldwide staple and for good reason. It is easy to grow, easy to store, and high in nutrition, even when cooked. Cook it with other staples, like potatoes, make it into a soup for tasty meals, or ferment it to make Sauerkraut. Once fermented, cabbage will last even longer and provide the body and the digestive tract with a wealth of nutritional benefits.

Kale

kale_title

Kale is part of the same family of plants as cabbage and although it is not normally thought of as a staple of survival, it is a great crop to grow. Kale is so filled with nutrition, it helps keep your family from nutritional deficiencies that may weaken them and make them more susceptible to disease. It can be easily grown and it is cold-hardy, meaning you can grow it well into late fall or early winter. If you’ve got a cold frame, it can grow through the winter. You can add Kale to any food you cook, including soups, stews, and potato dishes. It can also be dried into kale chips, something that has become a common health food, but will store well throughout the year and keep you eating healthy greens.

Sweet Potatoes

sweet-potato-nutritional-fact-versus-regular-potato

Sweet potatoes add fabulously to your staple foods. These are similar to potatoes, but they are better as they contain more nutrients and are edible for their greens. One plant can give you tubers, as well as greens. Sweet potatoes are easy to grow too. Though tropical and subtropical, they can be grown in the north. They’re a vine than runner roots swelling into the delicious tubers.

The sweet potatoes can be stored for a long time at room temperature. They’re going to keep at least a month or two, but if they’re healed, they ‘re going to keep for many months. Curing them means simply holding them at 85-90 degrees for the first five days after harvest, during which time a second skin will effectively develop.

Garlic

Garlic-survival food

Garlic is a wonderful addition to any garden which survives. It’s delicious and will add flavor to anything you’re cooking, but it’s so much more. It can be used as a medicinal plant aside from being highly nutritious food. Garlic is a potent antibiotic and antiviral agent. This also helps improve the immune system, is a potent antioxidant, and reduces high blood pressure and cholesterol. Garlic grows easily and when harvested, it can be stored and used in the winter months while waiting for a new crop to grow.

Herbs

herbs-survival food

Herbs are highly flexible, and they are very easy to store. Anything you might think of, such as rosemary, thyme, basil, bay leaves, parsley, and oregano, can be cultivated in the summer months, harvested and dried for use in the winter. Simply cut the plants, wash them, hang them upside down until they dry, then put them in a glass jar in a cool, dry place. Plus, many of the herbs that you use every day are perennials, meaning that once you plant them, they come back every year, giving you an ongoing annual herbal supply. Herbs will also provide you with the nutrients you need from vegetables, and added flavor to your food, something that will save you from a survival diet’s blandness.

Start Now

The list above includes the best survival foods to grow, but you shouldn’t wait until the collapse to get started. The key is to practice now, before growing this food is a matter of survival. Make mistakes now (while you can still go to the grocery store and buy food).

Even if you choose to begin with only one or two of the foods listed above, get started and learn how to grow food that will keep you and your family alive and healthy no matter how tough times get…

…because tough times never last; but tough people do! 

If the collapse happens and you are in survival mode, your long-term food requirements must be taken into consideration. Finally, whatever food you have packed away will run out and

Food is one of the crucial items for your bug out bag and INCH bags. You should know the difference between a bug out bag and an INCH bag.

An INCH bag stands for I’m never coming home. Essentially, it is a larger survival kit with all of the necessary items you will need to survive the SHTF scenario. The plan is to sustain you indefinitely or until you can reach a safety point, such as a predetermined location.

On the flip side, a bug out bag (BOB) holds three days of rescue items. They are ideal for civil unrest, hurricanes, fires, snowstorms, and other disasters. You do plan to return home when the coast is clear.

There are hundreds of choices when it comes to what types of food you can put in your bags.

There are a few things you want to consider when making your choices:

  • Calorie Ratio to Weight of Item: That can of soup might sound like a good idea, but it weighs a lot. You want food that has a small weight with higher calorie. You want as many calories per ounce as possible.
  • Macronutrients: You want more fats and proteins than carbohydrates. However, don’t forget the carbs because they do give you bursts of energy that you need for your journey ahead. Fats and proteins fill you up faster and add more calories.
  • Shelf Life: Yes, a fresh apple would take amazing, but you can’t store them in your bag waiting for an SHTF You need food that lasts for a long time. It is important that you keep a list of expiration dates, so you know when to rotate the items.
  • Preparation: The food items you select shouldn’t be hard to prepare. It is nice to have some comfort foods, but the food you select should be easily prepared. All you might have access to is a campfire or no form of cooking at all!

The List

  1. Raisins and Peanuts: If you’ve spent any time hiking, you know that raisins and peanuts are a standard food item. They are rich in calories and require no preparation efforts. You can pick the kind that has chocolate peanuts – everyone loves chocolate! However, it can melt if you are in the heat. It is best if you get individually locked bags rather than those huge bags. One cup of peanuts and raisins equals close to 700 calories.
  2. Freeze Dried Meals: Many preppers like to keep freeze dried meals in their bags. They will fill you up quickly. All you have to do is pour some hot water into the bags. Then, you seal up the bags for the recommended time. Some meals are enough for more than one person.
  3. Peanut Butter: A tablespoon of peanut butter can have up to 190 calories. That is a lot! Instead of lugging around a jar of peanut butter, look for individually peanut butter packets or cups.
  4. Dried Fruit: There are so many choices for dried fruit, from apricots to apples. They are full of sugar, so it can help to give you a boost of energy when you’re feeling low. Your local store should have a great selection. Pineapples, bananas, mango, and berries won’t weigh too much in your bag.
  5. Protein Bars: When you are walking for a long time, you need energy and protein to keep going. Protein bars are a favorite among hikers. You can eat them on the go. Most of them are pretty delicious. The only downside to protein bars is that they can get messy, especially if they contain chocolate. You can fit a few protein bars into your bar, taking up very little space.
  6. Beef Jerky: Jerky is another food item that doesn’t take up too much space or weight of your bag. You can munch on jerky as you are walking. Beef jerky is sold in dozens of flavors and packaging. It is a great source of protein. However, beef jerky also has a higher level of sodium, which could cause dehydration if you eat too much. Make sure that you limit yourself.
  7. Emergency Meal Bars: These bars are similar to MREs and protein bars, rolled into one. Emergency meal bars can have 2,500 calories in one bar! The flavor isn’t always amazing, but your goal is survival. Taste isn’t most important. They store easily in bags and make a good choice for an INCH bag to save space.
  8. Granola Mixes and Bars: Stores have whole sections devoted to granola bars and mixes. You can find bags with different things in the granola, a great choice for breakfasts and snacks. Granola bars are great food ideas for on the go. Even kids love granola bars! They store easily and come in multiple, delicious flavors. Some have nuts, oats, chocolate or raisins!
  9. Tuna and Salmon Pouches: You want different sources of protein for your bags. Cans of tuna are out of the question; they tend to weigh your bag down. The stores sell pouches of tuna and salmon, not mixed. They are great eaten cold or warmed up. You can put some tuna on a cracker for a snack. The pouches of tuna and salmon are relatively inexpensive, costing around one dollar each. They also come flavored, such as BBQ and lemon pepper.
  10. Dried Soup, Chicken and Beef Bouillon: If you want to make soup on the go, you need some bouillon cubes. They can easily be stored in envelopes and paper bags. All you have to do is add hot water. Just like MREs, you can find packets of dried soup that just requires hot water to reconstitute.
  11. Instant Oatmeal: If you have a tin cup to heat water, you can make yourself instant oatmeal. Instant oatmeal contains mostly carbs, but it is a great kick start to your day. There are multiple flavors available, taking up very little space in your bags. I would suggest keeping them in a plastic, zippered bag. Instant oatmeal pouches are easily torn.
  12. Meal Replacement or Protein Powders: Protein powder tends to be disgusting, but it is a source of protein and nutrients for you. All you have to do is add the powder to water. Add scoops to a plastic baggie and store them in your bag. You can also keep electrolyte powders in your bag that you just add right to the BOB bag. They will keep you hydrated.
  13. Instant Noodles: Who doesn’t like Ramen noodles? Instant noodles are super lightweight, but they make a great meal. Instant noodle packets are high in carbohydrates. The flavor packet has salt. Eating actual meals can feel comforting after a long journey or a hard day.
  14. Sardine Tins: There is some weight to sardine tins, but the tins themselves are quite small. There is a lot of protein, calories, and fats in these little cans. The weight might be worth it if you want an extra source of nutrients.
  15. Salami or Pepperoni: The idea of pulling out a log of pepperoni or salami might seem comical. However, you can find bags of sliced pepperoni. It does contain more salt than other meats, but you want some variety in your BOB and INCH bags.
  16. Tortillas: Bread is too bulky to take with you, so tortillas are a better choice. Tortillas contain plenty of carbohydrates, and you can use them with other food. It is a great addition to tuna or salmon to complete your meal.
  17. Ready to Eat Rice Pouches: Rice pouches are great for quick dinners now, and they are a great addition to your BOB for a real meal. Remember, these pouches have a lot of sodium and carbs. You shouldn’t pick rice pouches for an every meal type of item. However, you can add them with your tuna pouch to make a complete
  18. Instant Mashed Potatoes: When you want to have some comfort food, mashed potatoes fit that bill. Since you can’t bring along potatoes and create homemade potatoes on the trail, it has to be instant mashed potatoes. All you need is hot water. Add some instant mashed potatoes with a can of shredded chicken for a delicious dinner.
  19. Spam Pouches: Here is another idea for a source of protein, even if it is slightly strange. You have to enjoy the taste of Spam to want to include it in your BOB or INCH bag. Spam pouches can be heated in a cup of hot water.
  20. Dehydrated Hummus: Hummus is a favorite treat for many people. It is usually kept refrigerated, so most people don’t think about it as an option for a BOB. You can find packs of dehydrated hummus that requires you to add water.
  21. Crackers: Many of the items on the list are better with crackers. Yes, they are a bit bulky, so you have to consider what type you are bringing and the amount. Crackers make life better! They give you a better way to eat your dehydrated hummus and peanut butter pouches.
  22. Bags of Beans: Pinto beans are a favorite among preppers. They do take the effort to prepare, so that should be a factor. You need a pot that you can put over a fire. A bag of beans will need to cook for at least an hour in water over a fire. However, there is plenty of protein in a single bag of beans.
  23. Cereal and Breakfast Bars: If you need a boost of energy, cereal and breakfast bars are great choices. They typically contain oats and some fruit. They can give a bit of flavor and excitement to your pack!
  24. Sunflower Seeds: When you are on your journey, you want a lightweight and delicious snack that contains healthy fats. Sunflower seeds are a comfort food that can soothe stress and satisfy your hunger until you find somewhere you can set up camp to cook. Other seeds to consider are chia and flax seeds, which are lightweight and contain extra oil.
  25. Dehydrated Vegetables: Did you know that you can dehydrate your vegetables at home? All you need is a dehydrator, Mylar bags, and oxygen packets. Dehydrated veggies are easy to reconstitute with water and make great additions to dinners and lunches.
  26. Chocolate: There isn’t much protein in chocolate, but it contains sugar which gives you a burst of energy. The energy wears off quickly, but it will satisfy your cravings. It is a welcome relief after just eating canned and prepackaged food for multiple days. If you don’t want just to take plain chocolate, Tootsie Rolls are a great choice. Tootsie Rolls are great for hot summer months. Believe it or not, World War II soldiers carried them to eat. You want to make sure that you grab the long ones to conserve space
  27. Nuts: I mentioned peanuts and raisins, but there are other nuts you can try. Pistachio, almonds, and cashews are almost the top choices. You do have to be careful and look at the sodium content. Salted nuts do help to replace the salt lost because of extra sweating, but it can make you more thirsty. Too much sodium leads to dehydration.
  28. Cereal: Chances are you won’t have access to fresh milk while on the go. Dried cereal still adds carbs to your diet and gives a feeling of comfort. If you have kids along on the journey, Cheerios are a beloved cereal.
  29. Honey Straws: Honey is a delicious, unique source of sugar and energy. You need the energy to survive an SHTF Honey straws or hard sugar candies can give you that little burst that you need.
  30. Coffee Singles: Even if you are on the go, you still want to have some caffeine and coffee on the go. You can purchase instant coffee and Coffee-Mate To Go for flavoring and sweetness. Make sure that you have a cup with you that lets you heat your coffee over the fire or however you want to cook your coffee!
  31. Pop Tarts: I know you are thinking that those aren’t healthy at all. You would be right. Pop Tarts are mostly artificial sugar. However, they give you some energy and carbs if you need a pick me up. Plus, kids are pretty quick to eat them.
  32. Peanut Butter Crackers: I mentioned peanut butter and crackers separately, but you can purchase these together to save space. Premade peanut butter cracker sandwiches are found in the store and are relatively cheap.

There are so many choices for foods you can include in your bug out bag and INCH bags. You don’t want to pick all of these items. Find the ones that you think makes the most sense and you find the most enjoyable. Remember, a BOB is enough food to last you 72 hours. Most experts recommend a week or two of food for an INCH bag. After that, you should have supplies to start gathering your food by hunting and fishing.

Food is one of the crucial items for your bug out bag and INCH bags. You should know the difference between a bug out bag and an INCH bag. An INCH

One of the central pillars of preparedness is being able to feed yourself. Preppers focus some of their attention on stockpiling food as well as creating renewable sources like gardens or livestock (chickens and rabbits) as protection against the possibility that the local grocery store is no longer able to provide something to eat. The average person it has been said only has about 3 days’ worth of food in their homes and if that is true, feeding your family in certain disasters could prove to be possibly your biggest problem.

We have already seen time and time again, scenes of grocery store shelves stripped clean anytime there is a concern in the public. Greece was just the most recent example of this behavior preppers warn against. Starvation would surely be a horrible way to die and it seems as though collectively we all consider this a threat that must be dealt with to ensure the safety of our loved ones. The question is how you will deal with the risk of not being able to feed your family. Will you stock up on food now while you are able, or will you try to swim through the crowd of potentially thousands of other people raiding the local grocery store in the hopes that you can secure enough food to last your family through whatever disaster you are facing?

For many preppers, this may not be as grave of a concern from your perspective. If you have been diligently preparing, you may already have quite a large supply of food that would conceivably last you and anyone else in your home a long time. You might have plenty of food stocked already so you plan to sit back in the safety of your home while everyone else goes crazy; fighting over the last can of olives. But as you are sitting back feeling confidently comfortable, gazing at your full pantry, those 5-gallon buckets of Winter Wheat and metric tons of beans, have you ever considered how long that food will actually last you when you start needing to eat it?

Determining how long your food storage will last

The default amount of calories we consider to be recommended for an adult is approximately 2,000 calories per person. I know there are differences in age, activity level, and gender, but for simplicity’s, sake let’s just take that amount as our baseline. For general health, each member of your survival group will need to consume on average 2,000 calories per day to simply maintain a “healthy” weight.

Rice and beans are a great long-term stable food supply for preppers. They have an impressive storage life as long as they are kept cool and dry and they are very cost-effective as well. You can purchase a 50-pound bag of rice for around $20. Rice and Beans together give you carbohydrates and protein. Each 50-pound bag of rice has approximately 500 servings and there really isn’t anything like the satisfaction you can get from staring at a shelf full of rice and beans. But how long will that last your family?

A 50-pound bag of rice has about 500 servings.

Each serving (1 cup) of rice is 206 calories

Each serving of pinto beans has 245 calories

If you ate three meals of Rice and Beans in a day you would consume only 1353 calories. (451 X 3). If you had a family of 4, that 50 pound bag would last you about 41 days but that isn’t all the calories you would need. To just stay healthy and not lose any weight you would need to come up with another 700 calories per person, per day.

Calories are more important to measure than servings

Well, you could supplement that rice and beans with the wild game you plan on hunting, right? Did you know, a 0.5-1 pound roast venison tenderloin has a whopping 127 calories? That doesn’t get you much further toward your calorie targets, does it? What about chicken? One grilled chicken breast has only 141 calories.

Now let’s make the assumption that life without grocery stores is going to require more work out of you. Possibly much more work. So, the 2,000 calories per day amount aren’t likely to be a realistic count of the number of calories you will actually need. You might be digging latrines to deal with sanitation, hunting for food, or foraging in the forest all day. You could be patrolling your neighborhood or lugging water from a mile away. You would be washing clothes by hand, chopping wood; building fires and the 2,000 calorie amount would likely be more like 3,000 or 4,000 for some people just to maintain their weight. How long will your food last now?

To really get a good idea of how much food you have, you need to look at how many calories that food you plan on eating is going to give you. You can’t simply look at serving amounts and call it done because a serving of a fruit roll-up might make you think you will get a meal out of it, but they won’t come anywhere near close to what you need.

In addition to food make sure you plan on a good source of vitamins to augment austere eating conditions. This won’t be as good as the real thing but could help stave off some health effects of a less than ideal diet. You should take the time to conduct at least a cursory inventory of your food stockpiles, check the serving size and calorie amounts. You can get really detailed and put this into a food storage spreadsheet if you like, but that will give you a true picture of the amount of time your food will last the number of people you have. Instead of looking at this from a poundage viewpoint, you consider calorie counts. That way it will be easier to forecast how long your food will last and adjust for different people in your care.

What happens when we start to starve?

The more food you have, the better off you will be in a collapse scenario where we have no hope of the lights coming back on. Gardens and livestock greatly add to this cumulative total you have, but unless you have a very productive garden or a large supply of animals, the food you have on hand is likely to start running out. At some point in time, if the supply of food is interrupted, rationing might be a consideration you need to make.

Another consideration is the needs of the various people in your group. You may find you have hard choices to make. Someone who is old for example, who is less active may not get the same share of food as a younger person who is working outside all day. You may have to choose between roles and which people in which roles are given extra allotments of food. What if someone is out digging graves all day? Do you believe that someone who is sitting inside or not working as hard should get the same ration of food or the same dispensation of calories? If so, how long before the person who is working physically harder starts to decline in health? How long could you shovel or defend your home in a starvation state?

We talk about food storage as a solution to the grocery stores closing, but that will only buy us time in a true collapse. Yes, it will help your family tremendously to have additional food stocked up, but it will run out if the crisis lasts long enough. When calories are seriously limited, health starts to decline.

When we don’t get enough calories for a long enough time, our organs begin to shrink and gradually start to lose function. We can have bouts of chronic diarrhea, anemia, reduction in muscle mass, and the weakness that goes with that.

We have all seen images of refugees on TV. Poor children covered in flies with distended bellies staring blankly at the camera might elicit a sense of guilt in us today as we sit on the sofa and flip through the channels. In Haiti, there are areas where people make and sell mud pies for people to eat because there is no other food and the worms in their stomachs would rob the person of any nutritional value from real food before it could help them.

What will you do when these poor souls are your children?

Kwashiorkor and Marasmus

Kwashiorkor and Marasmus are two conditions that are seen with acute malnutrition. It causes the swollen bellies you see on TV and I can see this appearing in our country where we to go through some horrible SHTF event. The pictures you see on TV could be not from around the world, but in your own backyard.

As in other places in the world, this will lead to violence and death as everyone fights for food resources to fend off dying.

“Kwashiorkor is the most common and widespread nutritional disorder in developing countries. It is a form of malnutrition caused by not getting enough protein in your diet. Foods that contain protein include meat, milk, cheese, fish, eggs, soy, beans, nuts, seeds, and some types of grains like quinoa.”

Children who are deprived of calories for long enough will never reach their full potential for height and growth. These two conditions are treated in the beginning by simply getting more food with a healthy balance of protein. In more severe cases, you can’t just give a starving person a cheeseburger. You will have to introduce food slowly and something like powdered milk is good (reconstituted of course) to start them out until strength has increased and more food can be slowly added to their diet.

Anyone who has children will tell you that they will do anything to take care of their family. This manifests itself in a lot of imaginative ways, some violent. Before you have to get to that place where you are thinking of doing whatever is necessary to feed your family, make plans now to have as much food security as possible. A good strategy of food storage to include foods you eat every day, long-term store-able food, and renewable sources will put you in a better position to provide for your family. Think about this now so you have to worry about this less when it actually is an issue.

What are your food storage plans and how long will your food hold out?

 

 


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One of the central pillars of preparedness is being able to feed yourself. Preppers focus some of their attention on stockpiling food as well as creating renewable sources like gardens

Let’s face it, food can be heavy and bulky, even if it’s MREs or dehydrated. Other things may take precedence, like equipment and medicine for someone with special needs, or maybe you are just not able to carry much when you bug out. Carrying some fishing line and a few hooks is much easier than carrying cans of fish! While you may not feel confident that you can catch enough fish to survive, adding plants and occasional meat will keep you alive and even thriving.

A lack of food doesn’t have to mean your starvation. Nature provides food in abundance if we know where to look, how to get it and what to do with it once we’ve got it.

Different foods are available in different seasons and every area has its own wild food so you will have study up on what grows where you are, both plant and animal. Now is the time to find out what all those plants and animals are and how you can use them. The more sources you have for food, the better your chances of survival, not to mention you’ll be happier with a bigger variety of food.

Here are some basic guidelines to get you started, but don’t stop here. Go looking for information that’s specific to your area. Be sure you can identify plants. Most plants are not poisonous, but it only takes one to cause real trouble. Don’t rely on just one guide, but compare several. Look in books and on the internet, and, if you’re lucky enough, get someone who knows to show you.

Winter:

The Forager’s Harvest: A Guide to Identifying, Harvesting, and Preparing Edible Wild Plants

Summertime is the most abundant, but don’t think that just because it’s winter you’ll never find anything to eat. Roots of certain plants are still available in many areas. Even if the ground is frozen, you may be able to dig roots from under the tree canopy because the ground is covered with leaves and needles, creating a protecting mulch. What plants? Look for dandelions, daylilies. You may find cattails standing in partially frozen or thawed water. It will be cold work to get them, but cattail roots can be eaten if you boil and remove the fibers. Dandelions are the hardiest of small plants, with long taproots which can be boiled and eaten or roasted and ground into “coffee.” Daylilies have tubers that taste something like potatoes. There are no doubt other plants in your area with edible and otherwise useful roots or tubers.

You can fish and hunt in the winter if you are prepared, which means that you will need fishing line and hooks and a method of killing game, whether it’s a gun, bow and arrow, spear or a good slingshot. What’s in your area? Whether it’s squirrel, deer, pheasant or robin, find out the best way to hunt and prepare it.

Spring:

If there is dock growing in your area, it’s the first “green” out. Learn to recognize it and you’ll have a tasty dish before anything else appears. Spring is the time to stop digging dandelion roots and let the leaves grow. Use them raw or cooked, plain or fancy. Dandelion blossoms are edible, too. Lambsquarter is young and tender, wild lettuce and mustards are waking up. Learn what they look like and try them out this spring.

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In late spring, watch for maple “helicopters,” those whirly seed bearing things. They are not only edible, but delicious when young and tender. Look for more edible trees in your area.
Chicken eggs are not the only edible eggs. If you observe birds nesting and can get to the nest the first or at least the second day, the eggs will be perfectly edible. Scramble, boil, fry or use them to leaven bread. Also look for duck and goose eggs in the spring. Larger eggs will go farther, of course, but may be harder to find.

Summer:

This is nature in all its glory. You may see purslane, mallow and more to go along with the rest. Dandelion leaves will be bitter now, so best leave them alone until fall, when you can dig roots again. Check out your local flora because there is a lot growing, from wild fruits to greens. Avoid digging roots of any kind in the summer so plants can produce above ground. Almost every area has wild fruit of some kind.

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Wild Blackberry grow abundantly in some areas.

Hunting is not usually done in the dead of summer for a couple of reasons. First, animals are raising their young then and if you kill the mother, the babies will die, too. Secondly, disease is more common in the summer and eating a diseased animal can be deadly. If you stick to fish and eggs when you can find them, you’ll be much safer.

Fall:

Fall is harvest time in wild nature as well as in your backyard garden. Everything that didn’t mature during the summer is maturing now. Here’s the flour for the bread mentioned above. Lambs-quarter seed will ripen slowly. Dock will have already seeded out. Other wild grains will be there if you look for them. Now is the time to do your homework so you’ll know what they look like. Gather them in abundance if you can, then winnow and grind them (with two stones if you must). Using birds eggs for leavening and adding some hulled wild sunflower seed can make bread that is so satisfying you may not need anything else.

You can start digging dandelion and other roots now, too. Fall is a time of real abundance in a way that summer can’t be. It can provide boiled roots, baked bread, and still enough fresh food for a salad or pot of greens. If you are out there in the fall, prepare like our ancestors did and gather a lot more than you think you will need. If you’re there through the winter, you’ll be glad for the variety.

Sure, you won’t be the only one out there looking for food, but if you’re smart, you will know more than most about which wild plants are edible and how and when to use them, and you’ll have enough experience in fishing and hunting so the thought doesn’t scare you.

Food is critical to survival; carrying it on your back is not.

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Let’s face it, food can be heavy and bulky, even if it’s MREs or dehydrated. Other things may take precedence, like equipment and medicine for someone with special needs, or

The traditional way to create a long-term supply of food is to store bulk staples such as rice, pasta and dried beans. It is cost-effective and works well, but you may be faced with a pretty boring diet. That’s not good for morale, and while well picked staples will reduce the risk of malnutrition you’ll soon find there are things you ‘re lacking.
Now for the good news: You can quickly add a whole variety of items to your collection to make it more fun, savory and nutritious. Unlike buying rice in 50 pound bags, when you do your daily grocery shopping, you can also create an emergency fund by only picking up a few extra products each week. Here’s our list of top 24 hoardable foods:

1 – Meat

Fresh meat is a non-starter for emergency supplies, since without a freezer it can not be kept for a long time – so you can not rely on your freezer surviving the apocalypse. Nevertheless, it is worth searching for alternatives, because meat is the best protein source. Canned fish and meat can last for years, is easy to cook – you can eat it straight out of the box in an emergency – and will make pasta or rice dishes even more interesting. Jerky is also good – it can be soaked and added to meals, or eaten as a snack.

2 – Eggs

Eggs are another great protein source, and are very flexible. The trouble is, they’re corruptible. You can potentially preserve eggs for about nine months and a year by covering them in a thin layer of beeswax or baby oil and then store them in a cool, dark place, but there are also some refined egg products that can safely last for years. Freeze-dried egg powders can for most uses substitute fresh eggs, such as baked or scrambled eggs.

3 – Whey powder

Protein-Powder-24 Food Items To Hoard

Cheese makers split curdled milk into curds – the thick portion that ends up as cheese – and whey. New whey is a cloudy, watery liquid that has low fat yet high protein content. Whey is in reality the basis of most protein supplements. Powdered whey is applied to your grocery store; it quickly dissolves and can be used to make protein-rich foods, soups and sauces.

4 –Cheese

If you like cheese, it’s one of those foods that you’ll always miss while you’re gone. Fortunately, there are ways to store cheese without refrigeration for the long term. Canned processed cheese has at least two years of shelf life, and typically much longer. Wax-coated cheese will also remain good for years if stored properly – Parmesan will last for 25 years or more!

5 – Fats

If you follow our advice on survival foods, you’ve already stored plenty of oil in your diet to add a simple source of fats. Add to that some other fats will allow you to change your tastes and add more energy. Try canned butter, ghee, lard and Crisco – yes, that turns out to be good. Olive oil is also fine but it only lasts a few years before it is rancid.

6 – Breakfast cereal

Even in the toughest of times, a bowl of your favorite breakfast cereal provides a familiar, soothing start to the day off. Cereal can be surprisingly nutritious too. Wholegrain-based one’s like shredded wheat have a lot of fiber; even common sugar-based ones are a great energy source. In cold weather, hot oatmeal is a great boost.

7 – Dried milk

You can’t have cereal without milk, so stock up on powdered milk too. It can be stored for several years, and has lots of uses. You’ll usually get the best shelf life – and the best value for money – if you buy #10 cans.

8 – Potato flakes

If you have potato flakes and hot water, you can make mashed potatoes. These aren’t just a tasty addition to a meal – they’re also a great source of carbs (which means energy). You can also add potato flakes to stews and soups to add some extra body.

9 – Potato flour

More potatoes! But then, why not? Potato flour is made from whole potatoes (skin and all), so it’s quite nutritious. It makes a great thickener and you can bake with it, too. Potato flour is also useful if you are gluten intolerant.

10 – Cornmeal

cornbread 24 Food Items To Hoard

Corn has more energy than wheat and more protein than rice. Cornmeal can be stored for two years or more, and you can turn it into cornbread, pancakes, grits or polenta.

11 – Cider vinegar

Vinegar is practically a magic potion – it has a whole range of uses around the home and in an emergency. Apple cider vinegar tastes great, too; mixed with oil and seasonings it’s a good simple dressing, and it makes a huge difference to sauces.

12 – Chocolate

Compact, long-lasting, loaded with healthy antioxidants and energy dense, dark chocolate is a perfect survival food supplement. It also tastes amazing, which doesn’t hurt. Buy quality chocolate; avoid cheaper brands that contain hydrogenated vegetable oil, which is bad for your heart.

13 – Baking soda

If you have flour in your stores, or you manage to get some crops coming in and grind your own, you’ll need leavening agents to make bread rise. Baking soda lasts longer than yeast, because it’s a chemical and not a living organism.

14 – Honey

You probably already have sugar in your stores, but add some honey too. It lasts practically forever, tastes great and contains natural antibiotics – in an emergency you can put it on a would to prevent infection. Cover it with a dressing to stop dirt sticking to it.

15 – Molasses

Molasses-24 Food Items To Hoard

Like honey, molasses is packed with energy. You can use it for baking, or add a big spoonful to chili or stews.

16 – Pickling salt

Normal iodized table salt isn’t suitable for canning or pickling – it has too many added chemicals to fortify it or keep it flowing freely. If you plan on preserving your own produce, store the right salt.

17 – Dried fruit

Raisins, fruit strips and other dried fruit products have most of the nutrients and energy of fresh fruit, but they last for years and don’t take up much space. Avoid over-processed products and stick with all-natural ones. Best of all, if you have a dehydrator and vacuum sealer you can make your own.

18 – Jelly and jam

If you’re making bread, you’ll want something to put on it. You can also use jelly to make simple puddings – stir a spoonful into a bowl of cooked, sweetened cornmeal for a quick and tasty option.

19 – Peanut butter

This is also great on bread, with or without jelly, but it can make some great sauces too. You can make a basic satay sauce with peanut butter, sugar and soy sauce; it goes well with chicken.

20 – Coconut milk

coconut milk 24 Food Items To Hoard

If you like Indian or Thai food, coconut milk is a big help in creating tasty sauces. It has lots of energy, is a good source of healthy fats, and contains several essential nutrients. Like most canned goods, it should last at least two years but is generally fine as long as the can isn’t leaking, rusted or swollen.

21 – Powdered drink mixes

Staying hydrated is the top survival priority – but drinking plain water for weeks on end gets dull, and some people get nauseated by it. Add variety with hot and cold drink mixes. Hot chocolate and bouillon are excellent in cold weather; Tang or Gatorade are good for cold drinks.

22 – Seltzer water

Canned seltzer water lasts pretty much forever and adds variety to your drinking routine. It can also help treat constipation.

23 – Protein bars

If you need to bug out in a hurry you’ll need compact, high-energy food to take with you. Grab your chocolate, but some protein bars are good, too. They’ll make your diet a bit more balanced, and keep your stamina up.

24 – Seasonings

Whatever you eat, the right seasonings will make it much more enjoyable – and that makes a difference. Eating boring food for weeks is depriving. As well as adding some of your favorite herbs and spices – garlic powder, ground paprika, cayenne pepper, chili powder, dried oregano and even a bottle of soy sauce – you will already have salt stockpiled.

Any food that can be stored securely is going to make a valuable addition to your inventory, so keep a watch for promotional deals that could have a place in your shelves. If you have any other food ideas that you can stockpile, please join in the comments below!

 

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The traditional way to create a long-term supply of food is to store bulk staples such as rice, pasta and dried beans. It is cost-effective and works well, but you

Water will be at the top of your priority list in any emergency situation. Without water, the chances of survival are calculated in days – and not many of them. It’s crucial you have access to reliable clean, secure water supply. How much, then? At a minimum, for at least two weeks, a gallon a day for everyone in your group. This means 56 gallons of water for a family of four and this is a bare minimum. A gallon of water is not much because you need to use it for drinking, cooking, and washing.

Stashing a few extra Highland Spring bottles in the refrigerator obviously won’t meet your water needs for long, so you need to lay in a decent supply for real planning. Which means selecting the right containers, filling them with safe water and storing them in a cold, dark dry place. Do that properly and you’ll have a water buffer that will keep you in the game until you can find a safe source, whether it’s a well, a catchment system for rainwater or something else. Unfortunately, when it comes to storing water, there’s a lot of bad advice going around.

Here are some common myths, and the facts behind them:

Myth #1 – “I don’t need water storage because I have access to a well/pond/river”

Some people believe they don’t need to keep an emergency stockpile, because there’s plenty of water nearby. Seeing the logic in this, is easy. After all, if you have a pond with a few thousand gallons of water in it on your property, what’s the point in stashing some barrels in the basement? If your regular supply of water comes from a well, you are independent of the grid anyway and need not take any extra precautions.

The logic is quite clear-but that’s wrong. You don’t know what constitutes an emergency. What if a nuclear power plant fails to contain and your pond gets coated lightly with radioactive dust? You won’t want to go outside until the level of radiation has dropped – which probably means a couple of weeks – and it will be contaminated even if you could get at your water supply. When filtering, radiation can be eliminated so you end up with a toxic filter. Your well? It may be polluted by an industrial incident by drilling, or even leached chemicals.

In a SHTF scenario, rivers and ponds will be a magnet for people less prepared. In the short term, you can not rely on them safely. To be secure, you need water source that you monitor access to, and where it was stored, you need to know it was secure.

Myth #2 – “A water tank or stash of barrels will leave me prepared for anything”

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Storage tanks, barrels, or 5 gallon containers are all excellent ways for storing bulk water. When you want a few hundred gallons of clean water to hand, the way forward is huge tanks. Most preppers claim that this is what they need to keep them alive before they can put together a way to obtain clean water from a sustainable source.

Yet what if you need to move? You keep a bug-out bag with food, ammunition, and medical supplies in stock. Planning to take water, too? You need to, because when you’re on the move it’s just as necessary-but you can’t take a 55-gallon drum with you.

If you leave by vehicle, a few of five gallon containers will do well, but the worst case scenario is that you will have to bug it out on foot. If that happens, you’ll need containers of water which you can take with you. A camelbak or similar hydration device is a great idea, particularly if you go hot weather on foot. But it’s not enough, so bring even military water bottles – a few one-quarter canteens would be a handy extra backup.

Myth #3 – “Water will deteriorate in storage”

top_10_myths_of_sustainable_water_treatment

Having a decent supply of water that’s kept fresh is a smart idea. You may have one or two five-gallon jerrycans, for example, which are drained, rinsed and refilled each month. This gives you the supply of a few days which can be drunk straight out of the container. However, there is no need to think about the bulk room. Water does not deteriorate. It is H20 and that is it. You can store water for years, and it will always hydrate you just as well.

On the other hand, it may not be suitable to drink straight away after long-term storage. Microorganisms will grow in it, particularly if the containers were not sterile when you filled them. That doesn’t mean that you really need to throw it out. Compared to water from any other source, it can be made healthy by boiling, filtering or chemical purification. A chapter explaining the process of sterilizing containers and long-term storage of water can be found in The Lost Ways.

The benefit is that if you know it was healthy when you stored it, there’s no chance it’s polluted with chemicals, animal waste or some other hazard – you only need to destroy everything that’s grown in it.

Myth #4 – “Water needs to be treated before storage”

There is a common belief that before water is stored it must be treated. This is absolutely not true. Tap water is perfectly safe almost anywhere in the U.S. so when you fill the containers, there’s no point in doing anything. It has got at the water treatment plant after the filtering and purification, it is clean enough for storage.

lifesaver_bottle_portable_water_filter_system_6

Bear in mind also that even if you purify the water before storing it, microorganisms can still grow in it over a long period of time. Chemical purifiers will last for a while, but they will eventually evaporate. If water has been stored for months or years, then you should treat it before using it, so why waste time and money before storing it? Either way, you’ll have to do it again later, so you could cut out the duplication as well as just do it when necessary.

If water is dirty or has a lot of growth in it, chemical purification is not really enough-you should also filter it. If you obtain a high efficiency filter chemicals will not even be necessary. Like a Lifesaver filter, microorganisms with more than 99.99 percent efficiency will be removed, as well as any dirt, debris and suspended pollution clear. But do that again before you use the water and not before you store it.

Myth #5 – “Water can be stored in any container”

plastic-barrels-molded-from-food-grade-polyethylene

Any clean container can be used for short-term storage of the water in a real emergency situation. However, you need to be a little more selective for long-term storage. Most disposable plastic containers are not intended for long-term use, such as milk jugs. Many of them are now biodegradable so after a few months they will begin to break down.

As they do that, chemicals will dissolve into the water and while they probably won’t poison you, avoiding them makes sense. Those containers will inevitably start leaking, and you will lose your water. Disposable bottles of water or soda are also a bad idea. They are clear, and let light through; light stimulates the growth of microorganisms.

military-water-containers

Plastic barrels made from food grade polyethylene are perfect storage containers. For water barrels, the normal color is blue; this blocks most of the light, and what it let through is in wavelengths that tend to slow down bacteria and algae rather than encourage them.

Military water containers are also good; they are completely opaque, so there’s no light coming in at all. Picking solid food grade containers of good quality will help to keep your water supply safe in the long run.

 

 

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Water will be at the top of your priority list in any emergency situation. Without water, the chances of survival are calculated in days – and not many of them.

Survival bread used to be a common staple and it still is popular today as survival food. It can also be called other names like hardtack, pilot bread, and army bread. No matter what you call it, survival bread is a timeless recipe that can provide you with a cheap nonperishable option in emergencies.

The Easy Survival Bread Recipe

What you will need:

  • 2 Cups Oats
  • 2 ½ Cups Powdered Milk
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons Honey
  • 3 Tablespoons Water
  • 1 3oz Pkg Lemon Jell-O

Follow some quick and easy instructions to have it ready in less than thirty minutes:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the oats, powdered milk, and sugar in a medium bowl. Combine water, honey, and Jell-O in a medium pan, bring to boil, and then remove from heat. Add the oat/milk/sugar mixture slowly and mix well. Shape the dough into a thin brick-sized loaf and put it on a cookie sheet. Bake the loaf for 15 to 20 minutes. Allow the loaf to cool and then wrap in aluminum foil.

Why Make Survival Bread

Food storage can be a major problem and survival bread is just one of the many solutions to that problem. Our ancestors figured that out, as you can tell by survival bread’s storied history. Why reinvent the wheel when it comes to long-term food storage? The bread is shelf-stable and will stay edible indefinitely. The loaf is packed full of nutrients and calorie content- enough for one adult for an entire day.

The loaf is very dry, but that is one reason why it has such a long shelf-life. Water can help make survival bread more palatable and easier to chew. One of the names for survival bread is ‘hardtack’ because it can be tough to chew.

A few more reasons to chew on:

  • Survival bread keeps indefinitely
  • Making it gets you to practice in the kitchen (a rare occurrence, if you are like me)
  • It fits in any long term food storage plan
  • It pairs well with just about anything
  • The ingredients are cheap and useful for other baking needs or prepping projects

Give the recipe a spin and let us know what you think in the comments below.

Survival Bread with Jello?

It sounds odd, but the Jell-O adds a little bit of flavor and helps the breadstick together in its hard loaf form. You can actually use whichever flavor Jell-O you prefer, but I like Lemon, personally, and think it goes well with the texture of the bread. It doesn’t serve up a tart dessert treat like lemon meringue pie, but it does the trick. The honey also does wonders with helping hold the loaf together and adding much-appreciated flavor.

Survival Bread in a Can

It used to be widespread, but finding canned survival bread these days can be elusive. Every once in a while, you can find some online. You cannot control the moisture content in a pre-made product, obviously. In order to get the bread to come out of the can, they have to increase this moisture content- which has the drawback of giving it shelf life. Still, the shelf-life is a whopping 30 years, which is a whole lot longer than typical bread.

If you can find some online it may be worth picking up since it is so easy to add to your food storage plan. In a world of fast-perishing foods, survival bread in a can must not make much of a profit for food producers since it is a scarce commodity now.

The Final Word

Survival bread is a great inclusion in any long-term food storage plan. You can tweak the recipe to your family’s liking to be sure that everyone enjoys the bread. Break it out when you are heating up some MREs or canned goods as a side item. Pair survival bread with peanut butter for a great emergency snack. It is easy to make, tastes good, and is shelf-stable, add it to your plan. Keep exploring; stay prepared, and be safe.

 

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Survival bread used to be a common staple and it still is popular today as survival food. It can also be called other names like hardtack, pilot bread, and army

Last week, I went through my pantry, trying to get an idea of how much food storage I have. By the time the organizing session was complete, a dozen or so “expired” items sat on my kitchen counter.

In the past, I didn’t hesitate to throw a can in the trash if it was expired, and it looks like I’m not the only one tossing the goods. More than 75% (and some studies claim it’s as high as 90%) of us believe that food is unsafe to eat after the expiration date. This time, though, I’ve decided to change my ways and put the expired items back on the shelf.

Why?

Because it turns out that none of those dates stamped on canned goods have to do with safety. A recent report by the Natural Resources Defense Council and Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic claims that expiration dates aren’t regulated as we would believe. There is no standardized system for expiration dates.

THE STUDY FOUND MANUFACTURERS DETERMINE FOR THEMSELVES HOW TO SET DATES, IF THEY WANT TO PUT A DATE ON PACKAGING, WHAT KIND OF DATE THEY WILL USE, AND WHAT THAT DATE MEANS.

So what do those dates mean?

Well, it gets confusing because there are several different types of dates used on packages—like “sell-by”, “best if used by”, “best before”, and “use-by”. Here’s how the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) defines each of these dates:

Types of Dates

“Sell-By” date tells the store how long to display the product for sale. You should buy the product before the date expires.
“Best if Used By (or Before)” date is recommended for best flavor or quality. It is not a purchase or safety date.
“Use-By” date is the last date recommended for the use of the product while at peak quality. The date has been determined by the manufacturer of the product.
“Closed or coded dates” are packing numbers for use by the manufacturer.

And here’s what the USDA has to say about expiration date safety:

Safety After Date Expires: Except for “use-by” dates; product dates don’t always pertain to home storage and use after purchase. “Use-by” dates usually refer to the best quality and are not safety dates. Even if the date expires during home storage, a product should be safe, wholesome and of good quality, if handled properly.

The only exception to this is the “use-by” date on infant formula; which is mandated by the Food and Drug Administration.

The bottom line is after the expiration date, the food may not be as fresh and it may have lost some of its nutritional value, but generally, it is safe to eat.

Yes; I know what you’re thinking—if you can’t rely on the date; how do you know when the food is unsafe to eat?

The simple answer is to open it and inspect it. If it smells bad; looks off-color or has a funny taste, get rid of it.
And don’t eat the food from rusty, bulging, dented, or otherwise damaged cans.


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Last week, I went through my pantry, trying to get an idea of how much food storage I have. By the time the organizing session was complete, a dozen or

Building a survival stockpile is a challenge on many levels. Trying to afford it, is one challenge. Trying to ensure that it will provide your family with the necessary nutrition, is another challenge altogether; one which can contradict the first one. Making sure that the food and other supplies you have purchased will still be good when you need them is another issue altogether. Forgetting any of these many issues can leave you without the stockpile you need.

The result of all this is that we all make errors in building stockpiles, especially in the beginning. Of these errors, the most critical ones are those where we buy things that don’t last. The real danger here is that we have food that we think is good, but it turns out we don’t. Unless you check your food on a regular basis, this could end up being very dangerous, as the food is unavailable during a crisis, when we need to use it.

It’s imperative that we all check our stockpiles on a regular basis, at least once a year. This is part of my personal new year’s activities; something I try to accomplish sometime during January of every year. Even the best-preserved foods can go bad if something goes wrong in the preservation process. Checking them in January allows me to fit the replacement of those items into my plan for the year.

Some items just aren’t going to last, no matter what you do. Then there are those items you might have in your stockpile, which really aren’t going to do your family much good anyway, due to their lack of nutrition. Getting these items out of your stockpile and replacing them will help your family to be better prepared when the time comes.

Gasoline

Gasoline could end up being one of the most important things you can stockpile. The problem is, it doesn’t store well. Untreated gasoline can only be stored for about six months.

Even treated gasoline doesn’t do all that well, as you can only expect it to still be good for about a year. After that, many of the most combustible elements will have evaporated out, even in a sealed gas can.

Still, you need to have gasoline in your stockpile. The way to do that is to constantly rotate your stock so that none of it is over six months old. I have a 55-gallon steel barrel, laying on a stand on its side, which I use as a gas tank. Every month I take a tank’s worth of gas out of the drum and put it in my car, replacing that with fresh gas. In this way, I always have a good supply of fresh gas and I burn off the old gasoline.

Please note that my 55-gallon steel drum is a much better storage container for long-term storage of gas than plastic gas cans are. Gas cans are much more likely to leak, as well as absorb the gasoline, changing the chemical structure of the can itself.

Kerosene

Kerosene can also go bad when stored for a prolonged period of time. Condensation is the number one culprit, but not the only one. It will also develop a sludge, created by bacteria and mold that live in the kerosene, feeding off of it.

The solution for keeping kerosene for a prolonged period of time is to rotate your stock, just like I was talking about with gasoline. Always use an opaque plastic container, specifically marked for kerosene.

Breakfast Cereal

Breakfast cereals are a staple in most American households. Sadly though, most breakfast cereals hold very little nutrition for their volume. This makes them very poor food to be stockpiling. You would be better off storing whole grains and granola, which can be mixed together and eaten like cereal.

The other problem with breakfast cereal is that it goes stale very easily, even in a sealed container. Packing breakfast cereals in five-gallon buckets with oxygen absorbers don’t solve this problem, as that doesn’t do a thing about any moisture that might be contained in the bucket or the food itself, as I found the hard way. Adding silica desiccant packages can help, but as I already mentioned, there are other options that are better.

Ground Wheat Flour

Ground wheat flour is difficult to store for prolonged periods of time, due to the propensity to have insects or insect eggs in it. This is actually where the idea of sifting flour first came from. In many countries, you have to sift flour, because of insects getting into it while it is stored.

Storing wheat flour in vacuum-sealed bags, inside of five-gallon buckets, with oxygen absorbers helps. But even then, the flour has a limited shelf life. The difference is that it is about eight years, instead of eight months. But if you store whole grain that way, it will last for 20 years. The natural husk of the grain provides excellent protection from insects, and once you grind it, will provide you with healthier baked goods.

Snack Foods

To put it simply, there is no such thing as a snack food that is worthwhile as survival food. Granted, if that’s all you’ve got, it will provide you with carbohydrates and probably fats. But it will also provide you with a lot of chemicals to go with it. Those foods just aren’t designed to sustain life. The space you’re storing them in can be better used for other things.

Summer Sausage

Sadly, summer sausage just doesn’t store well for a prolonged period of time. I originally thought it would, especially since it normally comes vacuum-packed. But that isn’t enough to keep it from going bad.

What happens to summer sausage is that the curing process that is used to make it doesn’t stop. The nitrates and nitrites added into curing salt help to dehydrate the meat, but also work to break it down, turning what would normally be very tough meat into tender cured meat. But that process doesn’t really stop. The breakdown continues, turning that nice summer sausage into something much mushier.

As best I know that mushy summer sausage isn’t dangerous to eat. I’ve actually eaten it. But the texture and flavor of that sausage aren’t going to be the same. To me, it was really weird to eat.

Chocolate

As a confirmed chocoholic from a family of chocoholics, this one is even sadder than sad. Nevertheless, you can’t keep chocolate for a prolonged period of time, unless you can keep it cold. The problem is that heat causes the natural oils to seep out of the chocolate, messing up the texture and flavor. Eventually, you end up with something that looks more like white powder. It’s not dangerous to eat, but it’s not the chocolate you started out with.

Applesauce in Jars

Remove This From Your Stockpile Immediately

Canned goods are generally good virtually forever. But there are some exceptions. One of these is applesauce canned in plastic jars.

Glass jars probably wouldn’t cause the same problem, but commercially canned applesauce is generally put into plastic jars. This allows the applesauce to discolor and the flavor to change. After about a year, it’s just not the same.

I have eaten canned applesauce that is more than a year old, without any negative side effects. But since we’re talking about stockpiling here, I don’t want to see what will happen to that applesauce in five or ten years.

Powdered Milk in “Cans”

Most canned powdered milk (and a few other things) comes in cardboard “cans” rather than metal ones. While this is fine for short-term storage, it’s not what you need for storing that milk for 10 or 20 years. The cardboard can become water damaged, insects can eat their way through it and the milk can spoil.

Fortunately, the milk isn’t the problem; just the packaging. If you vacuum seal the powdered milk in Mylar bags and store it in sealed five-gallon buckets, it will last as long as you want.

Damaged Canned Goods

I’m a firm believer that canned goods can last forever; long past the supposed “expiration date”. At the same time, I recognize that it doesn’t always do that. I know this because I’ve had canned goods go bad; not many, but some.

This problem generally happens with acidic food and can only happen when there is an error in the canning process. The cans for these foods are lined with an acid-resistant film, protecting the metal can from the acid. But if the film doesn’t cover the entire inside of the can or if the film becomes nicked in processing, then the can is no longer protected from the acid in the food. That acid will eventually eat through the can, allowing air and bacteria into the can, where it spoils the food.

Of course, if you are checking your stock on a regular basis, you’ll see any cans with puffy lids, which are leaking, or which have mold on the outside of the cans. When these are found, they need to be removed and any cans nearby checked, especially those stored below. At times, the damage will allow acids from that can to spill out, which will attack the unprotected outer side of cans it spills on.

Building a survival stockpile is a challenge on many levels. Trying to afford it, is one challenge. Trying to ensure that it will provide your family with the necessary nutrition,

When we sit down with the goal to be prepared and self-sufficient, we have to balance a lot. We already walk tightropes between work and home life in many cases. Adding a pursuit that could really be its own full-time job only makes things harder. The self-sufficiency arm alone could occupy a full work week, and for some, the future looms as a period when we may have to increase our physical vigilance on top of producing our own food, medicine, and supplies.

There are methods we can use to make gardens maintenance-friendly, and plant selections can ease it further. In some cases, there are plants that grow with few inputs and are specific to our regions. In other cases, we can also decrease our labors in a work-heavy and typically strength-sapping hot season by making selections that ease the other side of growing and harvesting.

Processing & Storage

Whether it’s annuals, an annual veggie garden, or perennials, whatever methods for production we choose, it takes time away from our daily lives. Then our produce needs to be processed, one way or another.

Even now when most lives are relatively easy due to power tools, refrigeration, and transportation, we tend to be pretty busy. I think most of us expect that even without the tug of paying jobs and some of the extracurricular activities that suck up our time, a life “after” will be just as busy and in some or many cases, even more labor-intensive.

When we examine that “labor” word in regards to processing food, don’t forget that it’s not only the physical act of shelling beans and field peas, and our chosen method for threshing and winnowing grains or stripping corn cobs, or stewing tomatoes and slicing up zucchini. Most storage methods – even the truly historic methods – call for supplies: canners, jars, copious lids, a dehydrator or outdoor netted racks of some sort (and cooperative weather), a cold smoker, or things like salt, sugar, pectin, and rennet we either have to stock or figure out how to produce.

When we process something, we also regularly have to provide fuel. Besides water and gardening, I think fuel consumption for household processes is one of the most underrated and underestimated aspects for preppers.

If we can eliminate some of the burdens of processing foods for storage, we can eliminate not only some of the draws on our valuable time but also limit some of the constant drains on supplies and give us at least a little bit of backup in case our supplies are damaged or consumed.

Happily, we can create those backups pretty easily, by adding traditional storage or “cellar” crops to our garden and orchard plans. They basically go from field to storage, poof, done.

I’ll skip over beans and cereals this time because they really need their own articles. Instead, I’ll stick with the veggies and fruits that are easiest to store without much if any processing.

Squashes

Squashes are among the best-known storage crops. Autumn or winter squashes are the longer-growing, thicker-skinned cucurbits. It’s those tough hides we have to work through that let us set them on a shelf and walk away, for weeks or months on end. There’s a long, long list from all climates that includes kabocha, spaghetti, Kuri, Hubbard squashes, the gourds, and pumpkins.

Squash is ready for storage when the rinds darken, and you can’t punch a fingernail through them. The plants sometimes cue us that they’re ready by yellowing and dying back a bit, and in many cases, the vines will go woody. We then cut them off with a stub of stem attached, brush any soil or debris loose, and let those thick skins toughen up more with a 1-2 week cure in a 75-80 warm, somewhat dry space, up off the ground. They can be cured in the field, propped up, but there are risks there that a barn or crib can help eliminate.

Then they go into a slightly humid space – the average basement, household pantry, spare bedroom or office, and dry cellar is fine. Some will store for 6-8 weeks even at 60-75 degrees, while others will only store that long even at the ideal 45-60 degrees. Some like Hopi and fully-matured tromboncino will store for a full year or longer.

The downside to the winter squashes is that they tend to take a full season to grow and only produce a few to a handful of fruits per plant, compared to the tender summer squashes that can be produced in 55-65 days and readily fill a laundry basket when they’re picked often and early.

Humid Sand-Box Crops

Some of our storage crops like it damp. It keeps them from shriveling up and browning, or wilting into rot. We can create humidity with damp sand or sawdust, layering in root veggies like rutabaga/swede, turnips, beets, parsnips, carrots, and celeriac. The root veggies are also ideal candidates for burying in a wooden crate outside once temperatures drop.

We can also use damp boxes to store cabbage, celery, and leeks.

For them, shallower trays work well, because we’re going to cut them with a section of their stems still attached, and “plant” those stems into the sand or sawdust. The veggies will then wick up moisture that lets them be stored for weeks or months.

They’ll store longer if we can keep them between about 35 and 45 degrees, but even 55-60 degrees can significantly extend their shelf lives. If we can’t come up with a damp box or pit for them, we can also individually wrap them in plastic to help hold in moisture. (And now you have a justification for keeping every plastic grocery bag that crosses your path.)

Tree Fruits

Nuts have to be the next-best known storage crops, and right there with them are apples and pears.

Modern supermarket apple varieties don’t store quite as long or as well in many cases, with the exception of Granny Smith that will sit on a counter for weeks and extend into a month and longer if we drop the temperatures.

There are still storage apples out there although we have to work harder to find them. Braeburn and Pippin are examples of surviving apples that were actually intended to sit around in storage for a while, sweetening and softening over time. We can also turn to the harder baking, cider, and applesauce apples like Winesap.

We’ll have better luck storing the tart apples than the sweets and the firm-crisp apples and pears over softer varieties. Mid-and late-season varieties are also more storage-friendly, usually, and can provide us with fresh fruit later in the season.

Apples will do best in a cool, 40-65 degree storage space, and will do better yet if we save some newspaper and phone book pages to wrap them in and stick them on racks with 0.5-1” of air space between each fruit and each layer.

Pears will be even happier if they’re given the same treatment but an even colder space – just above freezing up to about 50 degrees. Pears will also commonly benefit from a cure period after they’re harvested.

Both pears and apples like storage with some humidity, which makes them good candidates for storage above some of our damp boxes, but only the leafy veg boxes. The root veggies are pretty sensitive to the ethylene released by fruits.

Medlars that “blat” (rot) is another example of a tree fruit that we don’t have to rush around processing during some of the busiest times of the year. It’s an acquired taste and texture, ever so slightly reminiscent of apple butter, but especially if we want to keep our food production hidden in plain sight, medlars may be a nice choice for us.

Nuts are pretty easy, even soft-shelled peanuts. Pick, brush, stack in a dry place, move on.

One thing to note is that walnuts that are removed from their husks will be less tart/bitter than those that aren’t processed at all. On the other hand, one of the “cheat” ways to remove that husk is to just stack them up in a bag until it rots and can just be scrubbed, or to leave them in water until the husk rots and drops away.

Potatoes & Sweet Potatoes

Potatoes and sweet potatoes need to make it through our winters and in many cases all the way through the earliest parts of spring, so we have even more reason to start practicing with them as soon as possible. See, they’re not really flowering seed producers at this stage in evolution, and it takes a while for seed starts to get going, just like tomatoes. We’re going to have to cut potatoes and let them callous, and grow starts from them if we want to continue reaping potatoes and sweet potatoes in a world without Tractor Supply and Baker Creek.

After harvest, both sweet potatoes and true potatoes are brushed off, then cured.

Potatoes cure best at 50-60 degrees for 2-4 weeks. To be at all soft and palatable, sweets need to cure in a warm but not too hot space, 80-85 degrees, and usually don’t need more than two weeks.

That’s similar with Asian and African yams for the most part, although some of those need a little longer or will tolerate hotter cure temps.

We’re typically harvesting sweets and yams when it’s still pretty warm, but if we need to heat space for them, we can use coolers or insulate small pantries or closets and rotate in jugs and pots of hot water. We can also potentially use our vehicles or camper shells as a hot zone for curing sweets and yams, but we need to monitor the temps and be able to provide ventilation if it gets too hot during the day, and keep the temperatures up at night.

Once they’re cured, potatoes and sweet potatoes like the same moderate humidity we can find in most household basements, pantries, and spare rooms. Sweet potatoes really want to stay at 50-60 degrees for their storage, but potatoes will handle a dug-in pit that only gets as low as 45 or so, or can sometimes be stored in rooms adjacent to barns, greenhouses, or coops – reaping the body heat but not too much of it.

Storage Crops

Spring, summer, and autumn are already pretty busy seasons for a lot of us. Family obligations and things like fishing and hunting are already in competition with our gardens, orchards, crops, any livestock we own, or other projects. They’re also the seasons we need to get buildings and power sources repaired, and woodcut and stocked.

Summer, and in many places autumn as well, are also our drought seasons, which means unless we have reliable water sources and backups for them, we can expect to do some heavy hauling – and some of us may already be filling barrels and buckets and tanks to haul for livestock and gardens.

Add in the mega-disasters and regional or wide-scale hunger some expect, or even the increased risks of garden and livestock threats from desperate humans a la Great Depression, Venezuela, and some of the dissolution and wars that have faced Europeans in the last century, and we can expect to spend more time on defense, as well.

Those are all factors that make it worthwhile to consider crops that don’t need much processing. Autumn squashes, apples, carrots, nuts, and potatoes that need minimal work before being crated or stacked on shelves can save us valuable time. Maybe that’s time we’re harvesting livestock and grains, or maybe that’s time we’re shelling green peas, peeling tomatoes, and slicing crookneck for the dehydrator or pressure canner.

Even if our storage conditions aren’t ideal, the ability to produce crops that can sit for even just a few weeks can buy us time to get in precious hay and straw and deal with the more perishable yields of our gardens and orchards.

While there are some drawbacks to various storage crops, there are also a lot of benefits – both now and “if/when”.

When we sit down with the goal to be prepared and self-sufficient, we have to balance a lot. We already walk tightropes between work and home life in many cases.

Modern medical marvels are uncovering new ways of treating illness every day, while at the same time losing the realistic, simple, and inexpensive ways our ancestors used to stay healthy. The ancients may have just had to look for some remedies as far as the spice cabinet, and that information has now been lost to history.

All of these remedies were once used by our ancestors to treat common illnesses, and they would have been well known to the population.

  1. Decoction is the technical term for a type of medicine made by boiling plant material to extract and concentrate its medicinal constituents.
    Decoction

    Today we make gentle teas in convenient bags, but historically medicinal plants, roots, and barks were often boiled whole in a pot and cooked down into a concentrated decoction.

  2. Cayenne Pepper was used topically to treat pain and arthritis. A simple capsaicin salve can block pain receptors and dramatically reduce pain on the spot. Peppers were also taken internally to help digestion, warm the body and speed the metabolism.
  3. Willow Bark has gone by the wayside as a natural pain reliever with the advent of synthetics, but some modern pain relievers are still made with the same active ingredients naturally present in willow bark. Our ancestors chewed the bark or boiled it into a tea to ease pains of all sorts.

  4. Oxymels are a remedy that dates back to ancient Roman times. A mixture of herbs, raw vinegar, and honey was used to treat a variety of ailments depending on the herbs used. Elderberry oxymels, for example, are potent immune boosters.  When herbs like cherry bark are used, an oxymel can be potent homemade cough syrup.

  5. Raw Vinegar is naturally probiotic and helps to correct digestive troubles by balancing the body’s pH level. In its raw form, it’s a potent probiotic that contains millions of active microbes to promote health and healing throughout the body. Most preparations these days are pasteurized, but if you’re looking for medicine make sure you seek out the raw stuff.

  6. Turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory, and research has shown that it can be just as effective at treating inflammatory pain as ibuprofen. Fresh turmeric is a rhizome, similar to ginger, that is grated into foods. More commonly known, ground turmeric is generally available in just about every grocery store spice section.

  7. Black Pepper is great for topical pain relief in much the same way that cayenne pepper is used. Make a salve by infusing the oil with black pepper and apply directly or convert it to a healing salve by adding beeswax. Black pepper is also antibacterial, which is one reason it was so commonly used in recipes for salt-preserved meats historically.

  8. Chamomile tea tastes great, but it’s also powerful medicine. It was used by Native Americans as a sedative when drunk as tea, but it’s also used in healing salves for skin irritation. Chamomile hair rinses are also great for conditioning hair and treating scalp issues.

  9. Honey was taken by the spoonful for immune support, but it was also used topically to heal wounds. A bit of honey spread on a healing wound helped prevent infection. The high sugar content in the absence of water prevents microbes from growing in much the same way that salting meats prevent spoilage. Honey is also naturally antimicrobial due to enzymes made by the bees, so it works in two ways.

  10. Garlic is antibacterial and antifungal. It’s used in oil extractions to treat all sorts of issues, including ear infections. Eating garlic raw helps with lung issues and promotes good circulation. Eating fresh garlic also helps prevent bug bites because the sulfur compounds that give garlic its taste are processed by your body and emitted through your skin.

  11. Ginger helps support the immune system and promotes good circulation. It was used historically for stomach issues, and while crystallized ginger is eaten as candy today, it was once taken as medicine for nausea, seasickness, and morning sickness.

  12. Poultice is a word you’ll see in ancient herbal texts, but not one you’ll find prescribed by a doctor today.
    A herbal poultice

    To make one, mash or chew up fresh herb material and apply it topically. They’re used for all sorts of issues from minor skin irritations to chest colds when applied directly to the chest.  A poultice is an ancient way to prepare herbs, and its impact depends on the herbs used.

  13. Bay Leaves are added for flavor to soups and stews these days, but historically they were used to detoxify the body and manage bacterial infections. Smoke from the burning bay was used to clear and focus the mind.

  14. Yarrow is also known by the Latin name “achillea” for the ancient Greek hero Achilles. He was said to have carried it to treat wounds from his soldiers. It’s a powerful medicinal that stops bleeding quickly when applied as a poultice directly to the wound.

  15. Infused Oils are used to extract and preserve the medical properties of herbs for both topical and internal use. Some infused oils, like calendula or plantain, are used for external applications to treat skin issues, while others like the rosemary oil you’ll find in the supermarket, were once used to treat nausea and stomach issues when consumed. While they’re used as flavorings now, they were once well-known medicine.

  16. Pine Pitch is easily extracted from pine trees and it was used historically for extracting splinters and poisons. A “drawing salve” would have been made and applied, using pine pitch, to draw out a splinter or snake bite venom.

  17. Aloe Vera was applied directly to wounds on battlefields historically, but it was also consumed. The gel within the plant leaves is consumed to help improve digestion, reduce inflammation and treat constipation.

  18. Cloves are perfect for topical pain relief, and before dentists were commonly available to people, cloves would have been used to treat tooth pain. A cavity would have been packed with ground cloves to numb the pain, or whole cloves would be chewed.

  19. Burdock is a garden weed these days, but it’s also a powerful blood detoxifier and diuretic. Patients would be prescribed a burdock root tincture, tea or told to simply eat burdock root as a boiled vegetable in much the same way carrots are consumed.

  20. Red Raspberry Leaf is rich in minerals that help keep just about everyone healthy and well-nourished, but it’s particularly potent for pregnant women. Red raspberry leaf tea was drunk by pregnant women to promote easy labor and help tone the uterus.

  21. Plantain was so well known for its ability to treat skin ailments, that it’s used as a joke in Romeo and Juliet. The entire audience would know that when they’re discussing plantain, it was to be used to treat skin wounds in much the same way that a modern audience would know what was meant if you said “band-aid.” Plantain was the band-aid of the day in Shakespearean times.

  22. Medicinal Beer isn’t something you’ll find at your local liquor store these days, but historically, herbs were brewed into beer where the alcohol helped extract and preserve the medicinal properties.

  23. Cranberry is mostly served for holiday meals these days, but historically it was used to treat all sorts of urinary tract health issues. It’s naturally antibacterial, and consuming cranberries help to purge infection from the body.

  24. Maple Sap is tasty when cooked into maple syrup, but our ancestors drank the sap straight to help strengthen their bones and for cleansing. A group would get together in a heated room and each person would try to drink as much as 5 gallons of the sap while sweating profusely from the heat. The idea was to bring the medicinal benefits of the sap in while sweating the toxins out.

    Rhubarb
  25. Rhubarb is mostly made into pie these days, but the Romans used rhubarb for gas, convulsions, stomach issues, asthma and dysentery. Web MD even verifies this, saying rhubarb is useful for digestive complaints. It wasn’t even used as food until the 1830s, but when’s the last time you ate rhubarb for medicine?

  26. Herbal Smoking isn’t something hear about these days. When someone smokes, it’s assumed it’s tobacco. Historically, all manner of herbs were smoked for their medicinal benefits.  The smoke is inhaled and the medicine can be absorbed directly by the capillaries in the lungs.

Modern medical marvels are uncovering new ways of treating illness every day, while at the same time losing the realistic, simple, and inexpensive ways our ancestors used to stay healthy.

We all know how important it is to keep abundant food on hand to get us through a crisis. Stockpiling food is usually the first thing any of us do as preppers – and this is something we continue to do even after many of our other plans are in place. But having food and having a way to cook it, are two different things. Much of that food will be worthless without the ability to cook it.

We’ve all cookware in our homes, of course, as well as barbecue grills, fire pits, and other places to cook. But what if we get to bug it out? I carry in my bug-out bag a complete set of backpacking cookware, but I see a lot of lists that don’t include that. Rather, it seems like there’s a lot of people around who think a few bits of aluminum foil is all the cookware they’ll need.

Well, I cooked in foil made of aluminum. It does work. At least, the first few times, it works. Then the foil gets ruined and there’s nothing you need to cook in that delicious ramen box. So what would you do then?

One option is to make a cup out of birch bark and cook in it. Of course, that presumes you are in a part of the land where birch trees are growing. If you’re not – say, for instance, you‘re in the Southwest, then that won’t work. You’ll need another option, a cooking option like in a cactus.

The prickly pear is among the most common cacti around. I’m not sure how many different prickly pear varieties there are, but just 18 of them grow in the Sonora Desert. Many varieties provide the fruit of the tuna and others are consumed in Mexico as a vegetable, known as “nopal” although not popular in the United States, nopal has been widely recognized by the health food industry for its many excellent properties.

Because the prickly pear is edible, there is no problem using it to heat water for coffee making or cooking your ramen pack. For that matter, you can scoop out the inside of the pad once you cook it, and eat it as well. Though it may not taste like your favorite vegetable, it will give you some nutrition.

Prickly pear leaves or “pads” come in various sizes, depending on the type of prickly pear plant in question. Most have spines, but there are a few varieties, the nopal in particular, which do not. I was lucky enough to find one that only had small spines to use for my experimentation with this method.

Preparing the Cactus

You’ll need to use one major prickly pear pad as a cooking vessel. Make sure it’s an unblemished pad, no scars, and especially no holes inside. There is no real way to patch any holes, so if you harvest one with holes or put any holes in it, you are going to have to start over in the process of preparing it.

How To Cook In A Cactus Cutting Cactus

You can cut the pad at the joint, where it connects to the next pad, but if you do that, you will have to cut the pad again to make the opening for the top of your cooking pot. Only cutting across the pad works better, where it gets close to its full width, providing you with the gap.

Singe the spines is the next thing you want to do, so they don’t stick you. Be especially careful to singe the smaller spines; as they are usually sharper and harder to see and remove. You are probably not going to be able to burn off the bigger spines all the way, without running the risk of putting a hole in the surface. But if you can singe off the point at least, it can’t stick you.

How To Cook In A Cactus Opening Cactus

When you cut the pad off at the joint instead of cutting a corner, you’ll now have to cut it off, leaving the gap at the top of your cooking vessel. Then you’ll have to put your knife down carefully in the middle of the pad, build a gap for it to open. Putting the knife’s point through the side of the pad at this point is extremely easy, making it useless and forcing you to start over, so you have to be extremely careful; cutting a little at a time.

The pad will be stiff, so it won’t be easy to open it up and make a vessel out of it; but if you wedge it in a stick’s fork, you can slightly push it to open. This will also allow you to hold a stand upright as you cook inside the pad.

Cooking Your Ramen

With the cactus pad now prepared, you are ready to start cooking. Ramen are cooked in boiling water, so the idea is to fill the cactus pad with water and then to get that water boiling.

How To Cook In A Cactus Stones in the Fire

If we were to work with that birch bark cup, we could put it over the fire. As long as the flames in the cup do not reach higher than the water level, it is not going to burn. I’m not sure if the prickly pear pad will work the same way since I’ve never tried it. Rather than doing that, we should place hot rocks inside the water to heat it up.

This naturally needs a fire, which is the first thing we should have done before we hunted our cactus leaf. There’s no need for a bigger fire, but it needs to produce some good coals because the coals are the fire’s hottest part. We’ll have to place some tiny ones, ideally smooth, rocks to heat them in those coals.

It’s important to use stones that have no cracks or fissures inside them. If they do, there’s going to be a chance in those cracks to have water. When heated, that water will spread and could cause the rock to break or even explode, dispersing pieces all over the place. Better not to use stones with cracks inside them. The stones you pick from a stream bed are fine, just as long as you search for cracks on them.

A few sticks can be used as “pinchers” to pick up the rocks from the fire and place them in the cactus pad to heat the water and bring it to a boil. You’ll probably only be able to use one rock at a time, enabling the heat to be transferred to the cactus water. Once it has transferred, remove it (after 20 to 30 seconds) and replace it with another stone. Repeat until the water gets boiling.

How To Cook In A Cactus Stone in Water

At this point, you’ll be glad you’ve got a couple of sticks holding up your cactus pad, as the boiling water inside it will make the pad hot and hard to hold.

With the water boiling, you can now break your ramen and put it and the seasonings in the cactus pad to cook. You will probably only be able to fit about half a pack at a time, but you can always reheat the water to cook the rest. Ramen cooks fast, so after putting it in the water, you’ll be able to eat it within a few minutes.

How To Cook In A Cactus

If you add any dry ingredients, such as dried vegetables or chopped jerky to your ramen, turn it into a heartier soup, be sure to add them before the ramen, as they will need more time to soften in the hot water. Even so, these additional ingredients can be a little chew, but they’ll at least be edible.

Talking of being edible, if you don’t have a fork or spork in your survival gear, you can also use the time while waiting for the boiling water to whittle a pair of chopsticks for yourself. That is the way to eat ramen anyway, isn’t it?

We all know how important it is to keep abundant food on hand to get us through a crisis. Stockpiling food is usually the first thing any of us do