HomePosts Tagged "storage"

There’s a reason preppers and even just people who like a well-stocked pantry purchase canned goods. They hold up for a long time, years even. They’re generally easy to prepare, many items requiring no more preparation than a quick warming in order to make sure the food is free from harmful microorganisms. Cans also come ready to store, no extra prep needed to sock them away for long-term storage.

Plenty of staples like beans, soup, veggies, fruit, and pasta are commonly found in the average family’s pantry, and found in great quantities in preppers’ stores. Those staples would get boring quickly, though. If you’re looking to add some unique and exotic foods to your food storage for either variety in your diet or for trading, read on for a look at the following canned goods you didn’t know existed.


1. Bread

Canned bread is totally a thing, and it’s available in several different varieties. While it’s likely more practical to store ingredients to make your own bread for the long-term, canned bread could be a tasty, quick way to a full belly and to get some carbohydrates into your system. You can find Original and Raisin Brown Bread by B & M in many stores or online.

2. Butter

Would you miss butter if you suddenly didn’t have access to the supermarket? No big deal, you can get that canned, too. There are a few brands of canned butter available, and it’s rather expensive since it’s not canned in the US. However, it’d be a lovely treat in a SHTF situation, and fat is a crucial part of the diet. For a less expensive canned butter, opt for powdered butter, instead.

3. Pudding

Canned pudding is more often found in Europe, but you can find it in stores in the US, too, as any buffet or cafeteria worker attest. Whatever your favorite type of pudding, it’s likely available in a can.

4. Cake

A pudding in the European sense that refers more to a desert dish in general, you can get canned Spotted Dick made by Simpson’s. It’s essentially a sponge cake with spices and raisins. While it doesn’t quite fit into what we think of as a cake in everyday life, I bet it’d be an incredible birthday treat in a SHTF situation.

canned bacon

5. Bacon

Very few people don’t like bacon, so it’s great that Yoder makes it in a can for long-term storage. It’s salty, fatty, and flavorful, which makes it great for spicing up boring food made from more traditional prepper food items. You don’t need much of it to transform a pot of soup or some powdered eggs.

6. Cheese

While making your own cheese isn’t rocket science, there is a lot of actual science involved, and the raw materials needed may not be easy to come by. So, there’s canned cheese. While it’s not quite like what we think of as ‘real’ cheese, canned cheese has plenty of fat and flavor to be a worthwhile addition to your prepper’s pantry. Check out Kraft’s Prepared Pasteurized Cheddar cheese or Heinz’s Macaroni Cheese for reasonably priced options.

7. Hamburger

Generally, people think of canned hamburger being home-canned. However, it’s available in cans from both Yoders and Keystone. There are even pre-seasoned canned hamburger products available, like the taco meat by Yoders.

8. Whole Chicken

Canned whole chicken, like those available from Sweet Sue, are good for more than just the meat. When the entire chicken is canned, all the gelatin and fat is preserved, allowing you to make a fantastic chicken soup.

9. Sandwiches

Also known as the Candwich, these canned sandwiches will be available in several different flavors. They haven’t quite hit the open market yet, but they’re coming! They come in a can about the size of a soda can with a peel off top. They’re perfect for on-the-go eating.

10. Potato Salad

Who knew this traditional, delicious picnic side was available in a can? Canned potato salad would be a good way to add a little flavor into your preps, and it can be eaten warm or chilled, making it a more versatile side dish than you’d possibly realized.   


11. Tamales

We’re talking whole tamales here. Simply heat these canned tamales up, maybe add some fresh veggies or canned cheese to them, and voila! You’ve created an entire meal by simply opening the can. These provide a ready-made meal in a solid form, which can have profound positive psychological impacts. While canned soup is great for filling you up and providing a decent balance, it’s simply not the most satisfying food out there.

12. Cheeseburger 

Made in Switzerland, these rather expensive canned cheeseburgers aren’t very practical, but they’re a fun addition to your preps. You simply boil the whole can and open for a tasty (that’s subjective, of course) cheeseburger.

13. Escargot 

Even if you don’t care much for fancy seafood, there are plenty of canned sea food items that could be great for bartering. Apart from escargot, you can find crab, lobster, and other shellfish canned for long-term storage.

14. Duck Confit 

Popular in France, canned duck with fat doesn’t seem terribly popular in the US. However, the high fat content in this canned dish could prove to be helpful in a SHTF situation. It’s great for soups and stews, and it adds a sumptuous touch that you won’t often find in the world of canned goods.


Whatever you prepping goals, consider adding some non-conventional canned goods to your stores. Variety, after all, is the spice of life. We need a variety of foods to stay at our healthiest, and because of this, people generally want a bit of variety in their diet.

The humor factor that many of the above items bring to the table shouldn’t be discounted, either. Psychological health will be remarkable important if society collapses, as well, so attending to our psychological needs shouldn’t be overlooked. As is always the case with canned good storage, be sure you’re properly storing cans and rotating your stock as necessary.


Whatever you prepping goals, consider adding some non-conventional canned goods to your stores. Variety, after all, is the spice of life.

Under the spring sun amid a cool breeze you are probably looking over your garden at the many small sprouts or purchased plants that are in the ground. It might seem like you are years away from harvest. The truth is Spring is the time of rapid harvest.

Spring plants come up quick and they can be very prolific. When you start to think about it you might start considering a simple, easy cellar for your spring harvest.

Some of the first plants to harvest are things like English peas and radish. They are both unique because they do not can or preserve well. If you have a generous harvest of these, you might be interested in a means of storing them long term. Radish being a root vegetable means they are great stored int a root cellar.

Garlic, new potatoes, asparagus and turnip greens are all things that have very short season to harvest. If you planted your garlic in the fall you are gonna be into a serious harvest of garlic in a hurry. Sure, you can store that harvest in your cabinets, or you can create a simple root cellar to store that garlic for months.

How Much Space for an Easy Cellar

The best part about building an easy cellar is that you can do it any way you’d like. Basically, you can build your root cellar the size you need to be effective. Are you going to use this cellar just for food storage, that’s a great idea!

Roots like carrots, potatoes and turnips can last over 6 months if you have built your root cellar properly. They are that effective.

Even small urban homesteads can section off enough land to make an easy root cellar. It also doesn’t have to be incredibly expensive. If you have a harvest to store its in your best interest to consider a root cellar.

Don’t forget, you have summer harvest right around the corner.

What About That Summer Harvest?

Maybe you’re not intimidated by that spring harvest. Perhaps you just eat all that fresh food and you don’t have much left. That could be the case. Some people are wild about those baby greens like arugula.

That said, once those zucchinis, squash, pumpkins, tomatoes and cucumbers start popping up things get crazy in a hurry. We are all guilty of leaving the zucchini plant for too long and then returning to find a blimp of a vegetable waiting for you.

The summer gets out of hand in a hurry. Before you know it, you are giving bags of produce away and you are sick of eating all that great food you grew.

That is because you haven’t a place to store that food long term or even a place to store all that canned ratatouille and tomato sauce.

Don’t forget, a root cellar is not only a great place to store root vegetables but also canned foods. Storing your canned tomato sauce and pickles in the root cellar will both save you space inside and give a new space for storing other things.

How About Even More Storage?

Don’t just start digging a hole. Get yourself some proper instruction. Easy Cellar by Tom Griffith is filled with tips on how to build an underground root cellar and even an emergency bunker!

This resource is designed for those of you who are looking to take the first steps in building and managing their own root cellar. There are also some other perks.

  • How to effectively store your food supply for 3 months to prevent them from spoiling.
  • How to effectively store water to enable your family to have access to clean water for months.

Don’t forget, this storage situation also means that you are going to be able to store even more things in your root cellar. If you are considering a root cellar maybe you also have dried food storage. Well, no one has room for all that dried food storage.

A root cellar keeps a nice consistent temperature and is a great way to store that long term food storage. What other preps can you store in a root cellar? Well, its up to you. Truth is Easy Cellar is a powerful resource for the preparedness minded individual and it comes with a free bonus that will teach you how to survive a nuclear disaster, just in case.

Now is the time to take action and get these building projects under way. The beauty of the root cellar is that your walls and floor is made for you already. Aside from some framing you have most of the cellar built for you by nature!


We all know that there are several reasons to grow more of your own food. From price to pesticide there has never been a better time to expand your food sourcing efforts. You will be amazed at the difference a few fruit trees; 6 chickens and an expansion of that garden can have on your life.

But what’s the point of all that if you don’t have a means to store all that extra food. Learning how to can, preserve and having a place to store that extra food is a crucial part of the process. That is where that root cellar comes in.

Even if you don’t live on 20 acres it doesn’t mean you wouldn’t benefit from a little more climate controlled storage space. With a little help on the DIY build you can make that happen in your own yard or on your property.

There is a lot to consider before digging in residential areas so be sure you do some research on this process. However, once you get the go ahead, you are going to be on your way to some serious storage space and a more self-reliant lifestyle.

Other self-sufficiency and preparedness solutions recommended for you:

The Lost Ways (The vital self-sufficiency lessons our great grand-fathers left us)

Survival MD (Knowledge to survive any medical crisis situation)

Backyard Liberty (Liberal’s hidden agenda: more than just your guns…)

Alive After the Fall (Build yourself the only unlimited water source you’ll ever need)

The Lost ways II (4 Important Forgotten Skills used by our Ancestors that can help you in any crisis)

The Patriot Privacy Kit (Secure your privacy in just 10 simple steps)

The summer gets out of hand in a hurry. Before you know it, you are giving bags of produce away and you are sick of eating all that great food

Eating your vegetables can help you to grow stronger – and taller! My mama used to say.

That is, if they were properly stored.

Whether you are looking for a long-term food storage solution to become self-sufficient, save money, or want an abundance of home-produce to last until you need it, putting by vegetables for future use is easy and rewarding. To stockpile vegetables, you won’t need to spend money on specialized equipment or be an expert in the kitchen. With planning and common sense, you can take pride in a larder filled with a tasty, nutritious harvest that will last a year or longer.

To keep the roots, leaves, and fruits of vegetables for future consumption, we must prevent decay. While freezing is an option, it depends on electricity and the availability of storage space. Fortunately, there are other efficient and practical ways to stockpile them for prolonged periods.

A word of warning – ripe fruit such as pears and apples give off a gas called ethylene, which stimulates other fruits and vegetables to ripen in turn. It is best not to store fruit near vegetables that are stockpiled for long-term use.

Vegetables That You Can Store for a Year or Longer and How to Do It

#1. Winter squash and Pumpkin

Winter squash and pumpkin are nutritious and can be used in many recipes during the months when fresh vegetables are scarce. Leave a short stub of the stem when you cut ripe fruits from the vine, wipe the pumpkin with a damp cloth to remove soil, and store on open shelves or in baskets in a cool dark room such as a basement.

#2. Arrowroot

10 Vegetables That You Can Stockpile Without Refrigeration For A Full Year

Arrowroot is a water plant with tuber-like roots which grow in soft mud. Compared to other vegetables, arrowroot delivers a meagre harvest and requires some effort to process.

However, it’s an essential addition to your stockpile because of its unique benefits. Because it’s so easily digestible, arrowroot is a suitable food for babies and for adults recovering from a digestive disorder. You can harvest young roots of the plant for eating in spring and early summer. When peeled and cooked, arrowroot tastes like slightly mealy potato. Later in the growing season, the roots become fibrous and inedible and are only good for processing into arrowroot flour.

Peel the roots thoroughly to get rid of the outer layer (it will make your food taste bitter) and pound them to a pulp.

Strain the pulp through a coarse cloth and pour the liquid into a container with a large surface area.

Set the container in the sun or close to a heat source until all the liquid has evaporated and only powder remains.

You can store Arrowroot powder almost indefinitely. For daily cooking, arrowroot powder is an excellent substitute for cornstarch in baking and sauces, and it will make battered fried food deliciously crisp.

#3. Cabbage

The only way to keep cabbage and some other vegetables fresh is to fool them into thinking that they’re still growing. Dig cabbages out of the ground roots and all. Trim the outer leaves and plant each cabbage in a few inches of damp soil or sawdust in a bucket or bin with a lid. Store in the basement; 30 – 45 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal. You can preserve celery and leeks the same way.

#4. Carrots

10 Vegetables That You Can Stockpile Without Refrigeration For A Full Year

Like cabbage, carrots are fleshy and will start decaying soon after you dig them up. Throughout summer and autumn, harvest only what you can eat within a few days and leave the rest in the ground.

As soon as winter frost starts damaging the tops of the plants, pull up the rest of the crop to prevent it from freezing in the ground and cut off the foliage. Fill buckets or bins with three to four inches of moist sand, lay carrots horizontally almost to the top, then cover over with another layer of sand.

Store your produce in the basement or garage, and you can pull out fresh carrots throughout winter when you need them. This storage method gave rise to the name ‘root cellar’, and you can store tubers such as sweet potato, cassava and yam in the same way.

#5. Parsley and Celery

Parsley and Celery are varieties of the same Mediterranean plant and you can stockpile them as a vital source of vitamin B and C, iron, and dietary fiber for periods when other nutrient-rich vegetables are scarce.

Most people think of these plants as a leafy seasoning in dishes such as soups and stews, but did you know that all parts of parsley and celery plants are edible? You can enjoy the leaves and stems fresh in salads during the summer, and dried for winter together with other savory herbs.

You can store and use parsley and celery roots in the same way as carrots; when you are ready to eat them, scrape clean with the back of a knife and add the chopped roots to the pot.

#6. Jerusalem Artichokes

Jerusalem Artichokes are not only tasty and nutritious, but also easy to grow and each plant delivers a prodigious crop of roots which you can harvest in autumn and store in the same way as carrots.

The plants are a type of indigenous North American sunflower and even when planted in pots, the roots will develop well. For the most nutritional benefit, boil Jerusalem artichokes in the skin, like jacket potatoes, and peel once cooled. They can also be fried or used to thicken soups.

#7. Tomatoes

10 Vegetables That You Can Stockpile Without Refrigeration For A Full Year

Italians call tomatoes the ‘essence of summer’ and there’s nothing better to add flavor and color to food on cold winter days. Cut ripe tomatoes in half lengthways and lay down well-spaced on suspended netting to make sure that there’s good airflow around the fruit. You can dry tomatoes in direct sunlight.

Turn the tomatoes every day for three to seven days until they’re evenly dehydrated.

Dried tomatoes can be stored in a cool place in airtight containers for six months, or up to two years if you layer them in oil in sealed containers. You can also preserve mushrooms and onions in this way.

#8. Potatoes

Unlike carrots, once a potato harvest is ready, it needs to be dug up, washed and stored at once. This is not a job you can leave until the frosts start; potatoes need to cure before you can stockpile them. Store the potatoes in cardboard boxes or paper bags at temperatures between 45 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit and 80 – 100% humidity for a week. During this period the potatoes’ skin will thicken, preserving them for future use.

After 7 to 14 days, you can transfer the potatoes to a dark, cool room such as a basement for long-term storage. Be careful to discard any potatoes with soft spots, broken skin, or other blemishes. Like the proverbial rotten apple, one spoiled potato will start a chain reaction in your stash.

#9. Onions

Suspend your onion crop from the ceiling. Air can circulate between hanging onions, and it prevents excess moisture from causing rot. A string of braided onions is not only practical but looks beautiful in a corner of your kitchen.

Harvest onions on a warm, dry day and let them cure for up to a week by spreading them out in a single layer on the ground. Once the tops have wilted but before they become dry and brittle, braid the onions into a string. Tie off the top with a piece of twine, which you can use to hang them. Garlic can also be stockpiled this way, and a corner of the pantry or the basement is a good place to store them.

#10. Salsify

10 Vegetables That You Can Stockpile Without Refrigeration For A Full Year

Never heard of it? That’s probably because it’s such an ugly-looking root. In the age of photogenic food, it’s fallen out of vogue, but during the 18thand 19th century, salsify was a staple in the US and Europe, and today it grows wild on uncultivated land.

Salsify is a hardy relative of the dandelion, easy to grow, and the roots are resistant to disease and most pests. It’s a good source of dietary fiber, vitamins B and C, and minerals such as iron, calcium, and potassium. As a bonus, you will probably love to eat this taproot.

Greengrocers call salsify the oyster plant and compare the taste to sea mollusks. The flavor intensifies the longer you store it. Stockpile salsify roots in the same way as carrots.

This article is written by guest contributor April K.


So, what do you think? Any experiences you want to share? Please do so, it will only help others. And this is exactly why we are here.

If you want to keep your produce fresher for longer, follow these tips.

For a long time, preppers have been accused of being little more the paranoid hoarders. However, a lot of evolution has occurred in the field of disaster preparedness. Rather than blind action and backpacks full of gear, we have a hierarchy of the most important things to have on hand in a disaster.

When it comes to prepper storage, we are going to look at three items that are going to make a world of difference for you and your family in tough times.

Long Term Food Storage

Forget about the golden rule in a serious disaster. You see, the gold makes the rules only when there are resources to buy with that gold. Because of our just in time delivery systems our cities and towns are going to run out of food and supplies in a hurry.

We have seen the shelves go bare after small hurricanes and snowstorms. Imagine if trucking and shipping stop and all those resources are gone.

Better than having gold is having food. You see, everyone is going to want food, they are going to need food. Most people have no idea how you are going to get food after a disaster.

If you are going to store food you should know what a years’ worth of food, per person, looks like. To keep it simple you are going to need about 2 million calories per person. Really it should be a little more but from there you can work your way back.

When you talk about 3 months or 6 months of long term food storage you should only be working with shelf stable foods. The best practice is to buy these items in bulk and then bucket them up with oxygen absorbers in mylar bags inside of 5 gallon buckets.

There are few sighs of relief equivalent to putting up food for hard times. Its just one of those things that feels good deep down inside.

Heirloom Seeds

Depending solely on a garden is a huge mistake. If you think you are going to grow all the food your fmaily needs, you are mistaken. In fact, if it were that easy, you’d be doing it already.

Growing food is hard but I think you should invest considerable time and effort into it. It should be a massive supplement to your food storage diet. This will increase the vital nutrients in your diet and will put you in a position to add variety, as well.

Along with stockpiling long term food storage you should also have some version of a survival seed bank. These can be bought in sealed cans and stored in your fridge. They will keep for a very long time.

Don’t get crazy and buy a bunch of varieties of plants. Instead, focus on the seeds that produce the most food per plant. This is key if you are short on growing space. Think of things like

  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers
  • Cucumbers
  • Squash
  • Zucchini
  • Herbs
  • Greens
  • Green Beans

These plants all produce ad nauseum and that is exactly what you want out of a survival garden. You want too much produce. The extra goes into cans to be called on in the winter.

Emergency Water Plan

Another important prepper storage consideration is water. Water is a little different than food and seeds. You see, water is part of a larger emergency water plan. This plan has a number of components.

Because we only have three days without water before we die, you want as many ways of getting water as you can muster. We are going to look at all those ways on a high level so you can understand how sourcing, catching and sanitizing water are all just as effective as storage.


The first step that most people make when considering emergency water is to store bottles or jugs in their home. This is a good method, to a point. Storing water take tremendous space and it also is very heavy when you get to a sizeable amount.

Water storage should certainly be a part of your plan but not the whole plan.


One of the most effective means of storing water is to do so in 55 gallons, or larger, rain barrels. These barrels hold a tremendous amount of water and that makes a huge difference. With just 4 of these barrels you can carry 220 gallons of water!

This type of catchment is great because it just happens, you don’t need to do anything but maintain the barrels


Have a method, or two, to filter water is also important. Sometimes water quality can be questionable, and filter can help you out with that.


Non scented bleach, aqua tabs, tincture of iodine are all options for sanitizing water and making it safe to drink. After filtering you could also boil that water and it will be safe, as well. However, quick methods like these tabs are also very effective.


The planet is 75% water. There is a water source near you. You should get to know that source now and make plans to tap it in times of disaster.

Easy and Effective Storage

Now that you have an idea of what you should be storing, you might be wondering, where do I put it all? Well, that is where we move to the topic of a root cellars.

Expanding the home or over cluttering it is not a great option. What good are preps if you cannot get to them quickly? Besides, its good to spread your preps around. Having food and supplies in more than one location can make a huge difference if things get bad.

If you are looking for a quick primer on building your own root cellar The Easy Cellar by Tom Griffith can help you get started.

Ideally you can use this eBook to build a custom root cellar that will allow you to store your water, food storage, seeds and even extend the shelf life of produce! When we talk about prepper storage a root cellar is key. In fact, all aspects of storage are vital to having success.

Having the right resources to call on in times of disaster is not only prudent but it is becoming very popular. The writing is on the wall and people are taking notice.

With some basic materials and good plans, you can create your own easy root cellar and create your own prepper storage.

Other self-sufficiency and preparedness solutions recommended for you:

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

Knowledge to survive any medical crisis situation

Liberal’s hidden agenda: more than just your guns

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

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

Secure your privacy in just 10 simple steps

We are going to look at three items that are going to make a world of difference for you and your family in tough times.

A best friend in need (BFIN) is a great friend indeed – especially if it can suck the air out of every bag, helping you organize the shit out of your B.O.B.

I was, of course, referring to the vacuum sealer (although that could have easily described every guy’s first-gold-digger-mistaken-for-true-love relationship), a great piece of technology that makes packing a piece of cake. Sure, many of you would come off telling me that this nifty gadget’s been around for quite a while and that I should get out more, but better late than never, as our grandparents used to say.

Indeed, I have to admit that the vacuum sealer’s been somewhat of a late-coming revelation, but that’s mostly because I had the impression that there’s nothing more than I could’ve learned about neat packing.

I was dead wrong. Anyway, I stumbled upon this gadget during one of my trips to the downtown thrift shop – paid around 15 bucks for the sealing machine and two dozen packs of sealing bags. I guess you can also order it online or find it at a hardware store or something, but if you come across one in a thrift, don’t miss out on the opportunity.

So, after packing everything that can be packed, I decided to write this piece to share with you people just how helpful such a doodad can be, especially if you have trouble organizing your stuff. And because nobody likes very long and tedious foreplay (unless there’s booze involved), here are a couple of cookie ways of how to use a vacuum sealer around the house.

  1. Creating weatherproof containers for your meds

Why waste a truckload of bucks on the weatherproof first-aid kit when you can create one using vacuum sealer bags? Thank you, Internet, for telling me this after spending 150 bucks on a heavy-duty kit from my local drug store.

Anyway, if you really want to make a medkit that can withstand anything from heavy rains to snow storms or any Kingdom Come events, grab everything you need and place them in one of these nifty bags. Be careful when sealing your items, especially when it comes to stuff that doesn’t take kindly to moisture. A great workaround would be to seal your medical supplies with a small desiccant silica gel pack.

That should get rid of any remaining moisture. Now, if you really want something hospital-grade, you can try out this nifty trick – get yourself one of those cosmetics bags (you can usually find them in any supermarket, especially around Father’s Day) or a padded Pepsi cooler. Next, take everything out of your regular first-aid kit and separate them. Put your pickup scissors in one sealable bag, sterile gauze in another, painkiller meds in the other, and so on.

Make sure that every object is sterile before placing them in the sealable bags. Vacuum the air out of each bag, place packs in your cooler or cosmetics bag and, voila, you now have a hospital-grade first-aid kit. What I like to do is leave a small gap in the upper part of the bag, in cases I need to break open the pack really fast (you should do this for stuff like gloves, gauze, and pickups). You can seal off the rest completely.

  1. Storing important documents and copies

As you know, one of the most crucial aspects of preparing a bug out bag is ensuring that you have at least one folder or something that contains copies after important items such as house deed, medical insurance, driver’s license, and whatnots. Sure, you can go ahead and buy a folder or something for your documents, but watch out for drizzles or snow.

One clever way of making sure that your docs remain intact no matter what would be to put them in a vacuum sealer bag. I did this for all my docs and copies, Yes, you can seal even the originals. Now, if you have very old documents, it would be a good idea to laminate them instead of placing them in vacuuming bags.

Apart from the fact that they look really neat and ready to be framed, the lamination foil also protects them from stuff like oil, moisture, dirt, dust or anything that may hasten the paper’s weathering rate. I found out that vacuum sealing is a great way to safeguard old docs, books, sketchbooks, and notebooks from those blasted paper moths which literally eat everything in their path (that’s how I lost my Don Quixote princeps edition).

  1. Keeping valuables away from prying eyes

If you have valuable objects like jewellery, gold & silver bullion, Tim Hortons discount tickets, you should consider vacuum sealing them before stashing them in your hiding place of choice. In this form, they’re way easier to retrieve and, believe it or not, vacuum protects valuable objects from things like moisture, dirt, dust, mold, mildew, and, of course, people who ask far too many questions.

If you have gadgets that are no longer of use to you, don’t throw them away if you can salvage the component. Put them in a sealable bag and stash them in your garage or something. Remember that in an SHTF situation, an older but functional phone battery can become more valuable than a bar of gold – priorities! It’s always a question of priorities.

  1. Crafting tailored MREs

Nothing beats that feeling of having a well-organized B.O.B, especially when it comes to the food part. MREs come in all shapes and sizes, meaning that sometimes it’s pretty challenging to keep everything nice and tidy. A great workaround would be to make tailored, vacuum-sealed MREs.

Here’s the deal: no two preppers have the same tastes in food. I, for one, like homemade meals ready to eat and would gladly get rid of stuff like crackers, biscuits, beef jerky, trail mix or potato chips. Whatever your SHTF culinary preferences are, sealing the food in vacuum bags will help you save a lot of space, which you can use for other gadgets and trinkets. Just be sure to toss a pack of desiccant silica gel in each food bag before using the vacuum to suck the air out.

  1. Weatherproofing hiking and camping supplies

Yes, I know you can use cheap garbage bags to weatherproof your clothes and undies, but do bear in mind that a thin plastic sheeting won’t keep your stuff dry for long, especially if there’s extra moisture in the air. One way of making sure that your clothes retain that out-of-the-wardrobe freshness would be to vacuum seal each piece of apparel before tossing them back into your B.O.B or hiking pack.

  1. Creating cheap storage containers for oil, vinegar, salt, and sugar

Among other emergency food, oil, vinegar, salt, and sugar are known to last almost indefinitely, provided that they’re stored in the proper conditions. With a vacuum sealer, you can create ultra-safe containers for your foods.

Sugar and salt are easy to pack, but you may want to pay extra attention when vacuum sealing oil and vinegar (you should consider looking for bags that come with bottlenecks and stoppers). Moreover, you can also make B.O.B versions by using smaller sealable bags.

  1.  Making awesome marinades

As you know, some types of meats like wild game, need to sit in a marinade for at least a couple of days before it can be cooked. Sure, you can put everything in a zip-lock bag before sticking it in a freezer, but there’s always that small chance of air getting inside.

Another reason why it’s better to use vacuum sealer bags has very much to do with refrigeration. Zip-locked marinade needs to stay cool. Meat and marinade that have been vacuum sealed can be kept basically anywhere because there’s no air left to oxidize the meat. Go ahead and have fun with your vacuum-sealed marinade. Just be sure to cook it soon.

  1. Easy icepacks

Don’t have anything on hand to put the ice in? No problem! Take the ice out of the freezer and toss in a small vacuum bag. Seal, make sure there are no leaks and use immediately. You can also stockpile icepacks for later use.

  1. Making spice and condiment packs

Remember the last time you were out camping, and you had to carry all these spice and condiments packs because you didn’t know for sure which one would pair best with the meat?

Well, if you have one of these awesome gadgets, you can make your own condiment packs and spice mixes. Even better is the fact that you can make person-tailored portions. For instance, if you’re more partial to mustard than to ketchup, you can put a little extra for yourself.

Same goes for the other members of your family or hiking group. As for the spice pack, the vacuum sealer eliminates the need to carry all these small packs of salt, pepper, paprika or whatever. Save yourself the trouble of having to carry those around by creating your very own spice mix. Here’s my all-time favorite:

  • Dried minced onion (around three tablespoons).
  • Dried thyme (one tablespoon).
  • Allspice (one or two tablespoons).
  • Black pepper (one tablespoon).
  • Cinnamon (one teaspoon).
  • Cayenne pepper (one or two teaspoons).
  • Sea salt (one teaspoon).
  • Garlic powder (one teaspoon).

Crush everything into a fine powder, add to your sealable bag, give it a shake or two, and enjoy.

  1. Storing bed sheeting and linen

I used to have an entire wardrobe filled with bed sheets and linen. Yes, I know everyone has trouble organizing it, which is exactly the reason why I went ahead and tried to vacuum-seal everything inside.

It’s best to do this after ironing them (allow them to cool down before bagging and tagging to ensure that there’s no moisture inside the pack). You can throw a pack or two of desiccant silica gel if you like. Anyway, I very much prefer vacuum-sealing my bed stuff because you can store them virtually anywhere, leaving you with extra space for new clothes or whatever.

It’s best to take this one step at a time. First vacuum-seal your winter linen, while keeping the spring\summer stuff within reach. When the time comes to use them again, pop open the bags, and seal the rest. You can do the same with jackets, parkas, hunting socks, scarves, gloves or anything wintery.

That’s it for my list on how to take full advantage of your vacuum sealer. As I’ve mentioned, the machine itself is very cheap (you can probably find one in a thrift store as I did). Still, you may have some trouble finding suitable bags – try Amazon or inquire at the store. You can always buy plastic rolls, cut them to shape, seal one end with a laminator or something if you’re looking to upscale or downscale project. Missed anything? Hit the comment section and let me know your thoughts.

A best friend in need (BFIN) is a great friend indeed – especially if it can suck the air out of every bag, helping you organize the shit out of