Entries Tagged ‘Stockpiling food’

Prepping In Breadth But Not Depth

A few days ago I started reading a new book, it’s called “War on the eastern front by James Lucas.” War on the eastern front is a collection of personal experiences based on diaries from German soldiers.

The majority of books I read are non-fiction. This is because I like to know what real-life experiences people faced during times of hardship. For example what were some of the issues that were faced during the Black Death?Kevin Felts, blogger and survivalist

Why did I pick a book on the eastern front? We know the German army failed to defeat the Russian army due to two things – the harsh Russian winter, and resupply issues. Those are the two main issues taught in just about every world history class.

On page 4 of “War on the eastern front”, it is noted that author A.J.P Taylor said “while his opponents were rearming for a great war in depth, Hitler rearmed Germany in breath. Everything for the front lines, but nothing for a second campaign.”

Hitler was so sure the German army could defeat Russia in a single season, there were no plans for a long drawn out battle during the Russian winter.  Nor were plans made for the following year, much less a war that lasted another 4 years.

How does this relate to survivalism

If you have adopted survivalism as a way of life, a lot of what you see, read, hear and do is somehow related to survivalism.

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Why Prepare

Pastor Dowell posted another good video, this time its about prepping.

Be sure to watch the video all the way through.

Pastor Dowell brings up a good point, if you do not prepare then there is something wrong with you. Are people that blind that they think the government will be there to help them all the time?

With hurricane Sandy laying waste to the Northeast, it could be days, maybe weeks before relief efforts reach some ares.

Over 10 million people are without power in the Northeast, roads are blocked or flooded, who can the people depend on? Themselves.

If the government can not reach you, how are they supposed to help you?

Are people so blind that they think nothing bad ever happens? There are no earthquakes, no hurricanes, no wildfires,,,, life is perfect. Do people actually think that?

How many people who had advance warning bought supplies? How many people have only a couple of days of food, and no safe drinking water.

Post your comments below.

Principles of canning and preserving food

In the preservation of foods by canning, preserving, etc., the most essential things in the processes are the sterilization of the food and all the utensils and the sealing of the sterilized food to exclude all germs.

BACTERIA, YEASTS, AND FERMENTATION

Over one hundred years ago François Appert was the first to make practical application of the method of preserving food by putting it in cans or bottles, which he hermetically sealed. He then put the full bottles or cans in water and boiled them for more or less time, depending upon the kinds of food.

In Appert’s time and, indeed, until recent years it was generally thought that the oxygen of the air caused the decomposition of food. Appert’s theory was that the things essential to the preservation of food in this manner were the exclusion of air and the application of gentle heat, as in the water bath, which caused a fusion of the principal constituents and ferments in such a manner that the power of the ferments was destroyed.

The investigations of scientists, particularly of Pasteur, have shown that it is not the oxygen of the air which causes fermentation and putrefaction, but bacteria and other microscopic organisms.

Appert’s theory as to the cause of the spoiling of food was incorrect, but his method of preserving it by sealing and cooking was correct, and the world owes him a debt of gratitude.

In their investigations scientists have found that if food is perfectly sterilized and the opening of the jar or bottle plugged with sterilized cotton, food will not ferment, for the bacteria and yeasts to which such changes are due can not pass through the cotton. This method can not be conveniently followed with large jars.

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Excess food supply

Over the past 2 days I have given away 2 dozen eggs.  Some people might be saying “so what”?  To give food away means that my wife and I have an excess food supply.

Think about that for a minute.  My wife and I bought our first chicks February 25, 2012.  In all we ended up with 13 chickens.  The chickens started laying when they were around 5 months old.  At close to 6 months old we are getting 6 – 7 eggs a day.

Home grown yard eggsWe are dealing with a couple of topics here, the time required to get your food production up and running, and being able to grow more food then you need.

I see a lot of survivalist saying that if SHTF they are going to get some chickens, goats, maybe a couple of cows,,, the usual stuff.  I see those types of planes as being unrealistic.  You think you are going to be the only person looking for farming supplies and livestock after SHTF / TEOTWAWKI?

Lets say you have a buddy that knows a friend whos second cousin has a few chickens they are willing to trade for 1,000 rounds of 223 Remington.  After some bartering the two of you finally agree on 500 rounds of 223 Remington and 500 rounds of 7.62×39 for 2 laying hens.

You get your hens home, now what?  Where are you going to keep them at?  Do you have an enclosed yard to keep your chickens in, do you have a coop?  Or do you plan on keeping the hens in your garage? Hopefully you will be lucky enough to find some hens that are already laying.  If not, you are going to have to wait several months for the chicks to grow and start laying.

Its not just livestock, what does your seed stockpile look like?  Do you have tools to work the field?  Do you have access to a tractor, tiller, hoes, rakes and manpower needed to get a field ready to plant?

After you get your squash, cucumbers, zucchini, turnips, snap beans,,,,etc planted, you are looking at 60 – 90 days before you are going to harvest anything.

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MRE vs Freeze Dried

MRE vs Freeze Dried, which one do you stockpile for a long term SHTF / TEOTWAWKI survival situation?  Personally, I have uses for both.  My food stockpile contains an assortment of MREs, freze dried 7 year pouches and several #10 cans of Mountain House freeze dried food.

When my buddies and I go on our annual camping trip on the Angelia River, I usually bring 7 year pouches for my main entree, and a couple of MREs for assorted snacks.

Lets discuss the various good and bad points of both.  First, lets talk about MREs, and then freeze dried food.

MREs – Meals Ready to Eat

Something that is very important to my family and I is sodium content.  My wife has high blood pressure, and my dad has heart issues.  While stockpiling food, it is important to take special needs into consideration.

This is a partial list of sodium content to various MREs I have in my stockpile.

Beef ravioli in meat sauce – 1,080mg
Beef Stew – 850mg
Beverage Powder, Grape – 150mg
Beverage Base Powder, Lime Lime – 20mg – 150mg
Beverage Base Powder, Orange – 20mg – 150mg
Cappuccino, Mocha – 0mg
Cappuccino, French Vanilla – 0mg
Cinnamon Imperials – 12mg

For the full list, visit this article about sodium content in MREs.

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Red Feather Real Canned Butter Review

Our friends over at CampingSurvival.com posted a video review of Red Feather canned butter.

Serving Size; 1 Tbsp (14g)
Servings per container: 24
Calories; 100
Calories from fat 100

% Daily Value:
Total fat; 11g 17%
Saturated fat; 8g 40%
Cholesterol; 30mg 9%
Sodium; 65mg 3%
Total Carbohydrates; 0g 0%
Protein; 0g 0%
Vitamin A 8%

Have you ever tasted Red Feather canned butter? If so, feel free to share your opinions.

6 Month Window Post TEOTWAWKI

Some kind SHTF / TEOTWAWKI situation has happened, how long will take you to get your food production up and running? How long do you think it will take you to plant your garden, get some livestock, build a pen to keep your livestock secure from predators,,,?

I learned something today, or rather something happened today that helped me set a 6 month timeline as the post SHTF window – my wife and I got our first egg.

We got your first chicks on February 25, 2012. the first batch was 3 Black Jersey Giants, and 2 Speckled Sussex. Within a couple of days of obtaining the chicks, 1 of the Jersey Giants died, and 1 of the Speckled Sussexs died. This left 2 Black Giants and 1 Speckled Sussex.

1 week later (March 3) my wife and I obtained 6 more chicks – 2 Barred Rocks (aka Plymouth Rocks), 2 Silver Laced Wyandotte and 2 Australorps.

Around March 7 my wife and I obtained 4 Rhode Island Reds.

All 13 of the chicks were around 2 days old when they were bought.

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Food fatigue after TEOTWAWKI

Food fatigue = eating the same thing over, and over, and over, and over,,,. Eventually leads to vitamin and mineral deficiencies; extreme cases of malnutrition can lead to death.  Food fatigue, vitamin and mineral deficiencies go hand in hand.

Couple of examples:

Pellagra – vitamin deficiency caused by a lack of niacin. Seen in people who eat a diet of mostly corn based products.

Scurvy – caused by long term vitamin C deficiency.

Eat the same thing over and over and over,,, everyday, people develop food fatigue. When people get fatigued, they stop eating. When people stop eating, they starve and eventually die.

How do we prevent food fatigue? We stockpile a range of assorted foods, and we have a source of fresh food.

Lets say that some kind of long term SHTF / TEOTWAWKI situation happens, what are your plans to ward off food fatigue?  Are you stockpiling a wide range of foods?  What are your sources of fresh food?  What are your renewable food sources?

Stockpiling Food

Lets talk about stockpiling food for a little bit. My food stockpile consist of four categories – canned foods, mylar bags, #10 cans and fresh food.

Stockpiling canned foods for TEOTWAWKICanned Foods (also includes boxed and jarred foods) – assorted soups, black eye peas, chili, corn (creamed and whole kernel), green beans, honey, ketchup, lasagna, mac & cheese, mixed fruit, mixed veggies, oats, olives,  peanut butter,  peaches, pears, pickles (spear and hamburger slices), pineapple, ramen noodles, ranch style beans, ravioli, refried beans (pinto beans), rice, salsa/picante sauce, spam, spaghetti sauce, tamales, tuna fish, vienna sausages,,, you get the general idea.

To facilitate rotation of the canned foods, my wife and I bought several wire racks. New cans go in the top, old cans go out the bottom. Each wire rack holds around 12 cans. Each shelf holds 5 racks. Cut a piece of 1/8 plywood that goes on top of the racks for extra storage. When full, each shelf of 5 wire racks holds around 60 cans in rotation, plus whatever is top of the racks waiting to go into rotation.

With 4 shelves, and 5 wire racks per shelf, that is around 240 cans in rotation, plus whatever is on top of the racks.

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Self-Centered Preppers

Preparing for the end of the world as we know itFor this article, the term “Self-Centered Preppers” means people who only think of themselves while preparing for TEOTWAWKI.  All they are concerned about is themselves, and “maybe” their close family.  No consideration goes into planning for friends, or anyone outside their immediate family members.

A prime example of Self-Centered Preppers might be people who plan on bugging out to the wilderness.  How is your family going to deal with the sudden isolation?  How are you going to deal with being cut off from friends and family members?  How are your friends and family members going to handle a sudden loose of contact with you and your family?

If humanity were to suffer some kind of long term SHTF situation, my family would turn to people such as my dad, and myself for guidance.  It is my resp0onsiblity to make sure my family has plenty to eat, protected and that they will be provided of.

Self-Centered Prepper does not care about anyone else.  What about your grand kids?  What about your kids that can not afford to stockpile food at this time?  What about your parents, brothers, sisters, close cousins,,,,?

Friendships are an asset

No man is an island, Rome was not built by a single person, if you want to survive a long term SHTF / TEOTWAWKI situation, you will need friends, team members and family members.

Apply Synergy to your plans – the sum of the whole is greater then the parts combined.

There is nothing that you can do that a small team can not do better.

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Prepping for the everyday person

Southeast Texas Whitetail DeerThere was an interesting comment posted on the survivalistboards facebook page,

You want the world to End, But subscribe to a Survival group….. I hate my VCR I wish Y2K bug was Real….

My reply was,

No, I do not want the world to end. But just in case something happens, I want to be prepared.

Prepare for the worst, hope for the best.

Some people take prepping a little too far. They prepare for the worst regardless of where they are at or what they are doing. I agree with having a get home bag. But on the other side of the coin there are people that keep a complete Bug Out Bag along with a small arsenal in their vehicle. Reading what some people post in forums, its like they are prepping for a zombie invasion to breakout at any second.  Unlike what is portrayed on TV, the majority of preppers do not live on the fringe of society.  We are everyday people living in the cities, suburbs and rural areas all across the world.

Related Articles:

Long Term Survival Plans
Hunter Gatherer or Farmer Survivalist
Shortsighted Survival Plans
Everyday Carry Gear (EDC)

When people look at prepping, they get on the forum and get a little overwhelmed by what they see. It is easy to forget that some of the members of the forum have been prepping for decades.

Prepping is not for the lazy.  Sure you can buy some rice and throw it in an airtight box, buy some canned foods and think you have a well rounded survival plan.  Just because you “think” you have a well rounded plan does not make it true.

Where do we start?  A lot of people start prepping in the wrong order.

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Prepping in the wrong order

Kevin Felts blogger and survivalistAfter talking to a buddy of mine, we came to the realization that most preppers stockpile in the wrong order.

When people get into prepping, what is the first things they start stockpiling?  Most people lean towards stockpiling firearms and ammunition first.

Why do most people place buying a firearm at the top of their list?  Maybe its the sense of security that owning a firearm provides?  Maybe its the idea of the family being able to protect themselves?  Maybe its a primal feeling where we feel safe and secure with a spear in our hands?

Ok, lets get back to prepping.

This is the way most people prep

1.  Firearms

2.  Short term food preps

3.  Sustainable food preps

This is the way people should prep

1.  Sustainable food preps

2.  Short term food preps

3.  Firearms

Sustainable Food Preps

Most preppers / survivalist put sustainable foods at the end of the list, so lets talk about this topic first.

Question, why do preppers focus on sustainable foods “after” they focus on a lot of other stuff?

Answer, in my opinion, its because planting a garden and having livestock takes a lot of time and effort.  Its easier to buy a bunch of canned foods then it is to build a chicken coop.

My wife and I spent 3 weekends building our chicken coop, which also includes an enclosed run on the coop.

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Zombies Are Real

Yep, you read that right, zombies are real. Not real as in wanting to eat your brains, but real as in mindless people with no sense of reason and incapable of higher thought.

To live a survivalist lifestyle, one should be open minded, open to new ideas, flexible, open to suggestions and open to change. To be closed minded, to be inflexible and not open to change sets a limit on how well we can adjust to change.

What caused the Neanderthal to go extinct?

What caused Cro-Magnon Man to go extinct?

What caused Homo-Erectus to go extinct?

Was it their inability to adjust to climate change? Was it their inability to adjust to changing food sources? Were they open to new ideas?

Sheeple zombies

Sheeple are the people that say “we have done it this way 100 years, there is no reason to change now”.   These are the people who resist any kind of change.  When sheeple are forced to change, they get angry and develop feels of resentment.  These are the people that are on a dead end road of life.

I wonder if some Neanderthal refused to change his hunting patterns with the changes in herd migration?

Did Crug the Neanderthal say to Doug the Neanderthal:

Crug: The herds have moved over there, lets move with them and get something to eat.
Doug: Why should we move? The herds have always been here, they will come back.
Crug: Doug, we are going to starve.
Doug: Na, the herds will come back.

The herds did not come back. Crug, Doug and their entire species are now part of the fossil record.

Do not be like Crug and Doug.  Be open to new ideas, be open to suggestions and be open to change.

Random youtube video and forum threadFood Storage. How to? How much? What to store

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Reviewing your preps

Chickens inside the chicken coopPrepping (aka survivalism) is a path with no end. Its a journey that sometimes has a beginning, but will have no end. Being a survivalist is a way of life, its not a hobby or something that we do in our “free time”.

For some survivalist, the start of their journey is when the light turns on in their head. Someone may decide that they need more food stocked up for hurricanes, or for earthquakes. Part of stockpiling our preps is doing reviews, taking inventory, modifying our plans,,, its a never ending challenge. Part of that challenge is looking at what we have done, where we have been, and where we need to go.

Back in June 2011 my wife and I decided to expand our stockpile of #10 cans of freeze dried foods. One of the issues that I ran into, there was a shortage of freeze dried foods in #10 cans, and there seemed to be a limited selection of freeze dried eggs.

After buying a #10 can of Mountain House scrambled eggs with ham, and a #10 can of Mountain House scrambled eggs with bacon, I started wondering if there was a better option. There “has” to be a better option then spending a small fortune on freeze dried foods in #10 cans.

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Stockpiling food for SHTF and teotwawki

Stockpiling food for SHTF / teotwawki While browsing the forum this morning, I came across a thread about stockpiling food. After looking through the thread, and after installing some new can rotation systems, I started thinking about some off the issues with keeping our food stocks rotated.

My opinion, one of the biggest issues facing preppers and survivalist are keeping our food stocks rotated. When my wife and I went through our canned goods and started sorting them, we realized that we had over bought certain foods, and did not buy enough of other foods.

There are 3 things we do not need to buy anymore of – corn, tomato soup, tomatoes for chili and spaghetti, pickles,,,.

Related article – teotwawki survival gear storage

Take honey for example, we have 4 or 5 jars of honey, but 12 – 13 jars of peanut butter.

There are lots of can good rotation systems on the market, such as the Cansolidator storage unit, or use something like a can rotation system designed for 12 ounce soda cans.

My wife and I had been storing a lot of our can goods in the pantry with no real rotation system. Well, a couple of months ago I decided it was time to get with the program and get our can foods organized.

While walking through the local china-mart, my wife and I found some wire racks that are designed for keeping 12 ounce soda cans in the fridge. the racks are designed to hold a 12 pack of 12 ounce cans. Besides soda cans, the wire racks hold all types of soups, pasta, and peanut butter just fine.

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US society not prepared

Stockpiling food for SHTFA couple of weeks ago my wife and I went to Sams Club in Beaumont Texas.  One of the main things I wanted to pick up was some freeze dried foods in #10 cans.  The food is listed on the Sams Club website, so I thought the store would have some in stock.  Guess what, the store did not have any freeze dried food in #10 cans.   After walking up-and-down the isles, I finally decided to stop and ask an employee.  I was told that the store had not got any emergency type food in a couple of years.

For those of you that do not know, Beaumont sits just a few miles inland from the Gulf of Mexico.  In the past few years Hurricane Rita and Hurricane Ike have made landfall close to Beaumont.  Why wouldn’t a major outlet store sell some kind of emergency food in a Hurricane prone area?  I think its a lack of forward thinking, and maybe even a lack of demand.

A couple of nights ago my wife and I went to Lowes in Jasper Texas, we were looking for some kind of can rotation system.  Wal-mart in Jasper sells a wire rack for rotating soda cans, but a regular sized chili or soup can will fit in the rack.  So my wife and I have been buying the wire-racks and setting up a can rotation system on a set of shelves.

What really surprised me was the Lowes store in Jasper does not carry any type of can rotation system.  Why wouldn’t a hardware store that sells cabinets sell some kind of system to keep can goods organized?

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