13 Staples You Need in Your Emergency Food Pantry

file0001706313190When you are shopping around for things to put on your shelves for a rainy day or after a major collapse, it can all seem a little—messy. You add a little of this, a little of that and look around the grocery store to find a few other odds and ends to fill the shelves. If you are stockpiling food without a plan in place, you need to stop. You have to have an idea of the meals you will make after SHTF. It may seem trivial, but it is important.

When you have some basic staples, you can prepare a variety of meals. You won’t have to worry about getting bored with the same food every single day. Eating canned foods for a month will get old and can make you ill. Adding freeze-dried foods to the mix is a good idea. There is no rule that says you can’t have a variety of quick meals, like freeze-dried and a variety of staples that allow you make some good old fashioned home-cooked meals.240serving-cat

The following 13 staples should be included in your pantry. This way you always have options.

  • Flour
  • Sugar
  • Baking powder
  • Cornmeal
  • Coconut oil (vegetable oil goes rancid)
  • Raw honey
  • Pasta (variety of noodles)
  • Seasonings
  • Cocoa powder
  • Instant milk
  • Rice
  • Dried beans (pinto, kidney, navy)
  • Coffee

With these basic ingredients, you can make filling meals that taste great and offer the family a lot of variety. It is amazing what you can create with just a few ingredients. You will have the ability to mix things up and create some new recipes that are sure to please your family. Adding a can of corn to a pot of rice or adding some canned fruit to a homemade biscuit can help change things up.

Each of the items on this list can be safely stored for decades without spoiling. You will want to make sure you seal the food in Mylar bags and store within a sealed bucket. Between your freeze-dried foods, canned foods and these basic staples, you will be set.

What Will You Eat After the Apocalypse?

empty shelvesAfter an apocalypse on either a minor or major scale, food is going to be scarce. As humans, we tend to automatically jump to thinking about where our next meal is coming from. While we may be able to technically live several days without eating, nobody is really excited about that idea. Food is comforting. It gives you strength and it keeps your body healthy. You need food so it is pretty normal to think about what you will eat after some calamity befalls us and people have looted the store shelves.

You have several options.

Stockpile Food

This is probably the most obvious option. It ensures you are set up and don’t have to go out hunting for food right away. Storing nonperishable foods that include a variety of freeze-dried, dried and canned goods will ensure your food supply will last for months or longer. If you are dealing with a serious apocalypse, you will eventually run out of food, which leads us to the next options.120-serving-emergency-food-supply (1)

Grow a Garden

A garden will feed you somewhat and that is assuming it is the right season. Many preppers have greenhouses so they have a fresh supply of fruits and vegetables all year round. It is something you should definitely consider.

Raise Livestock

Another thing preppers like to do is raise their own food. Things like rabbits, pigs, chickens and even goats do not require a great deal of space and are fairly easy to raise. Learning animal husbandry that ensures you have a steady supply of food is a very wise idea.

Hunting

This is what many people assume they will be doing a lot of. Hunting will get food on the table, but how often you hunt and how often you actually get something will make a huge difference. You will want to brush up on your hunting skills so you know how to do it when your very life depends on it.

Foraging

This is probably one of the last things anybody thinks about when they think about eating after a collapse. Believe it or not, foraging will be one of the easiest and best shots at eating if you don’t have a stockpile of food. Learn about edible plants now so you have something to eat immediately after a collapse.

11 Reasons You Need Loads of Baking Soda in Your Emergency Stash

baking-soda-768950_960_720As you are stocking food, water and first aid supplies on your shelves to use after SHTF, you need to do what you can to add loads of baking soda to your shelves as well. Baking soda is an extremely versatile and inexpensive product you can use for cleaning the house, cooking and even cleaning yourself. Baking soda is one of the most important things you can put into your emergency storage. Prepping is about stockpiling items you can use to make life a little easier, cleaner and safer for your family after SHTF. You want to fill your shelves with things that can be used for a number of different purposes. Baking soda is one of those things.

Not convinced? Check out some of the ways you can use baking soda.

1-Baking soda and a couple drops of water make an awesome toothpaste. The soda whitens your teeth while killing harmful bacteria in your mouth. You can make a big batch and add a few drops of peppermint essential oil for that minty fresh feeling.

2-A little baking soda and water can remove stains from clothing, furniture and even carpets.

3-Bee stings and bug bites will feel much butter with a baking soda paste applied. It stops the stinging almost immediately.

4-Sprinkle a little baking soda in the bottom of your trash can or clothes hamper to eliminate odors.drain-1060909_960_720

5-Mix about a quarter cup of baking soda, a teaspoon of dish detergent and a little vinegar to create a foaming bathroom cleaner that is completely safe and non-abrasive.

6-Clean your kitchen or bathroom floor with a mixture of half cup of baking soda and a bucket of warm water.

7-Clean your bbq grill by sprinkling some baking soda onto a wire brush and scrubbing the grate.

8-Remove stains and freshen carpets by sprinkling baking soda over the area and allow to sit for about 15 minutes. Vacuum and the carpet will look and smell cleaner.

9-Cure rashes and soothe skin irritations by adding half a cup of baking soda to the bathtub.

10-Pour a cup of baking soda down a clogged drain and follow with a cup of vinegar. Removes the clog and cleans the pipe all the way down.

11-Add a half teaspoon of baking soda to a cup of water to relieve heartburn.

This is just a small sampling of what you can do with baking soda. It is such a versatile tool and the fact that it is a natural remedy means you won’t have to worry about any harmful chemicals. Buying baking soda in bulk bags or scooping up boxes each time you go to the store is something you will want to commit to.

Why Duct Tape is a Necessity for Preppers

tape-589079_960_720Preppers all have that one thing that they absolutely do not want to be without when it hits the fan. If you have ever played out those what-if scenarios in your head, you probably have one thing that you must have should you find yourself stranded on a deserted island or the equivalent. Maybe you have watched those survival shows where the person was dropped off in the middle of nowhere with just a couple pieces of gear. What is your dream gear?

For many preppers, it is duct tape. Duct tape is the dream gear that many preppers want to have in their bug out bag or emergency survival kit. Why? There are many reasons. We will cover a handful. You can probably come up with another 50 right now and in a true survival situation, you could double that number when you are forced to improvise.

1-Duct tape can be used to fashion a sling. Fold it in on itself to keep it from sticking to your neck.

2-Use it to hang plastic over windows and doors. If you don’t have plastic, garbage bags will do.hiking-566087_960_720

3-Duct tape can hold branches together to make a shelter in the wild.

4-Cover your shoes with duct tape to make them a little more waterproof.

5-Use it as a fly/mosquito catcher in your tent.

6-Cover a wound with a cloth and then wrap it with duct tape to keep it dry.

7-Make butterfly stitches with a couple strips of duct tape.

8-Use it to hold your pants up.

9-Fold it in on itself to make a rope for hanging your food from trees or dragging gear.

10-Fix a hole in water bottle, tarp or your sleeping bag.

11-Tape your knife to a long branch to make a spear for hunting.

You get the idea. There are so many different ways you could make duct tape work for you in a survival situation. This is true of things like a hunting knife, garbage bags and paracord. You truly only need a few versatile pieces of equipment to help you survive in the wilderness. Check your bug out bag again. Do you really need everything in there or can you lighten your load a bit by choosing gear that can be used in many different ways.

What’s In Your Prepper Garden?

food-960070_960_720If you haven’t started your prepper garden, you still have time in most areas of the country. That means you still have time to think about what you want to grow. Unless you have acres and acres of fertile land to use for your garden, you need to use the space you do have wisely. While it may seem fun to plant this or that just because it seems like the thing to do, think about whether or not it is the best use of garden space along with your time and energy.

A prepper garden will ideally feed your family during harvest season and for months following the harvest. Not all foods are suitable for preservation that doesn’t require a freezer. While it is certainly okay to grow enough broccoli to have plenty of fresh, it isn’t a vegetable you can really can. You could dehydrate it, but the quality is going to be pretty funky. There are plenty of other veggies that are great fresh, but not so great for canning or drying. You have to assume you won’t have electricity, which means you won’t have a freezer.

Some prepper favorites for the garden are things like beans, corn, peas and carrots. Corn can be an issue if you have limited space. Each stalk will only give you a couple of ears. It takes several ears to get a single pint jar filled with corn.corn-fields-928380_960_720

Potatoes are an excellent option and can be a meal in themselves, but it is not wise to can potatoes. Drying potatoes is an option. If you have a root cellar, the potatoes you harvest at the end of summer will easily stay fresh until early spring. This applies to a number of other root crops as well and apples. As far as space goes, yes they can take up some serious space in the garden, but you don’t have to grow them in the garden. In fact, growing potatoes in a large garbage can is an excellent way to maximize space and save yourself the problem of weeds and pests.

Your prepper garden is what will keep your family alive after a disaster upsets the food supply chain. While you are thinking about the foods you like to eat fresh, also consider adding plants to the garden that you can preserve. Home food preservation is an ideal way to stock your pantry without costing a lot of money.

Are You Physically Ready to Bug Out?

walker-1208261_960_720Preppers are experts in varying aspects of preparing to survive some major event that puts the world into chaos. They have a ton of food, water and basic supplies that will sustain them for months or longer. They have plans and back up plans that will lead them away from danger and to a place where they can start over. Preppers can make fire from just about anything and have a great deal of knowledge about how to survive with nothing more than a knife in their pocket.

But are preppers physically prepared to do all of the jobs necessary to actually put that gear and those skills to use?

If you get winded walking upstairs or walking to check the mail, you are not going to make it. It is that cut and dry. How can you possibly expect to walk 20 miles or more with a heavy pack on your back if walking into the grocery store from one of the far out parking spaces is a lot of work? You have to get in shape. If you are out of shape, you are likely not in the best health either. Your physical health should be put at the top of your list of things to do. You will dramatically increase your odds of survival if you are physically capable of strenuous activity.

Here are some things you can do now to help get you in a little better shape and more prepared to handle the physical aspect of survival.cliff-1081762_960_720

  • Spend at least one of your days off hiking or backpackin
  • Chop wood with an ax
  • Manually plow your garden or spend some time using a rake
  • Take walks around your neighborhood
  • Walk to work if possible or walk to the corner market
  • Park in the way out parking lot when you go to the mall or big box store
  • Do some minor weight lifting
  • Yoga—not a joke, very good at building up your muscles

You don’t have to be the toughest, strongest or the fastest, but you do want to be able to keep up. If you tire after the first couple of miles, you are going to slow down your group. The weakest and slowest are always going to get picked off first. Do your part and get your booty moving and get in shape! Eat right and lose those extra few pounds you have been talking about losing for years. Doing the activities above is going to get you in shape and you will be better prepared to live in a world where modern conveniences are a distant memory.

Canned Food 101 for the Beginning Prepper

If you are interested in stocking up food to use in the event of an emergency, you may canned foodhave some questions. When you talk to other experienced preppers or do some research online, it is easy to panic and think you can’t possibly build up a supply of food that will last you for months. It can seem like an impossible feat, especially when you think of the cost involved.

It isn’t nearly as difficult as it seems. These are some tips that preppers have been using to get their supplies built up. Yes, it does take time. Yes, it does take money. However, slow and steady wins the prepping game.

Set a Monthly Budget

Before you head to the store and start shopping, set a budget. You don’t want to buy too much, too soon. You will burn out. You will also end up spending more money than you need to. Part of prepping is doing what you can to get yourself in a good financial spot. Spending a lot of money on food that you are storing away could result in financial hardship.

Pick the Right Foods

Don’t buy foods your family will not eat. It is a waste of space and money. Do what you can to diversify your food storage, but keep it to the foods you eat. If your family isn’t a fan of tuna or peas, skip them and spend your money on foods they do eat.

Use Coupons and Shop the Ads

Don’t be afraid to be a bargain shopper. Have some money set aside so you can buy big when a canned food sale does hit. Learn some of the tricks mega-couponers use. Buy one get one free sales are an excellent way to beef up your pantry at half the price.cans

Get the Most Bang for Your Buck

Buying in bulk is generally the best way to save money. You will still need to do the math and make sure the bulk price is a good bargain. It isn’t a wise idea to buy bulk cans or family size cans of foods. You have to assume you won’t have refrigeration. Can your family eat a huge can of tomato sauce in one sitting or a big can of chili? You don’t want it to go to waste. An option is freeze-dried foods. This allows you to use a portion of the can, seal it up and it will be good for several weeks or longer. The freeze-dried foods have longer shelf lives and will taste just as good in 20 years as they do today. Canned food will lose flavor and does run the risk of spoiling.

Prepping is a great way to give yourself peace of mind. You will sleep better knowing you have a supply of food to sustain your family should there be a disaster or a financial collapse that leaves the budget stretched thin with no room for groceries. A supply of food is smart. Start with these simple tips and get started building up your food supply today.

Is Your Dog a Prepper?

german-shepherd-525804_640Many preppers have dogs. They have dogs for many different reasons. It may simply be because the kids wanted one or maybe you were looking for a companion. Homesteaders like to have dogs to help keep an eye on things and serve as an early warning system. Others like to have dogs trained as guardians of their people, willing to attack anybody who tries to harm their owners. No matter what the reason for owning a dog is, you have to ask yourself; is your dog a prepper?

No, your dog isn’t going to have a stockpile of food hidden under the porch or buried somewhere. But, is your dog ready to survive an apocalypse of some sort? If you don’t know, then you need to bring old Fido up to speed on things. Your dog needs to be prepared to help you out after a major event. A dog that isn’t prepared is going to be a hindrance and may even get you killed.

Can Your Dog Deal with Loud Noises?

If your dog is the kind that runs or hides when there is a thunderstorm or a door slams, you need to work with him. In a disaster and immediately after, it will probably be pretty loud. You don’t want your friend running off at the first loud bang. Help the dog be okay with loud booms, like gun shots, by either hiring a trainer or exposing the animal to noises and providing the reassurance that is is okay.labrador-805838_960_720

Does Your Dog Come when Called?

This is a frustrating scenario for every dog owner. They often have a mind of their own and will completely ignore commands to heel or return to where you are. Again, hire a trainer or train your dog from a young age that returning when called is important. This is to protect your dog from being injured as well as keep you from having to go out on a search and rescue mission and potentially putting yourself in harm’s way.

Does Your Dog Bark Incessantly?

A dog that barks constantly will not only drive you crazy, it will alert others to your presence. In a post-collapse world, that is probably not going to be a good thing, unless you want to be found. Train the dog to only bark when an alert needs to be sounded.

These three traits are crucial to your dog’s ability to help you after a disaster. Fortunately, these are all traits that can be trained with a little work. There are going to be a few dogs that are timid and will not do well in a chaotic situation. Do your best to help the dog overcome fears by keeping calm yourself. Your furry friends will usually take their cues from you. If you are panicking, they will feed off that energy and panic themselves. Enroll your dog in a training class or do some serious research and learn how to train your dog without a trainer.

Take the Time to Plan Your Prepper Garden

vegetables-861363_960_720It is exciting when the sun starts to really shine in early spring. The promise of warmer weather and long days outside with your family and friends is alluring. You may already be dreaming of the succulent strawberries you will be picking from your garden in a matter of months. After the berries there will be plenty of fresh vegetables to snack on or throw into a salad. This is all very exciting and it can run away from you if you are not careful.

You need to spend some time planning your garden so you can maximize space. If you plan accordingly, you can use every inch of space and get the most out of your garden this year. This is important for every gardener, whether you have acres to plant in or just a small patch. With the smaller area, you need to make the most of your space so you can grow plenty of food for your family. With a bigger space, you want to be careful you don’t randomly plant here and there and end up wasting water and dealing with more weeds and pests than you can keep up with.food-960070_960_720

There are some programs you can find online that allow you to input what vegetables you want to grow and a rough diagram of your gardening space. The programs generate a plan for you that maximizes space and ensures you are planting companion plants together. The programs also help you avoid planting enemy plants together.

If you are not interested in using a computer, sit down and sketch it all out. This will help you figure out where to start planting when it is time. Don’t plant vegetables that you will not eat. You don’t have to plant broccoli if it isn’t something you and your family will not eat. It takes up space for nothing. If you live in a climate that makes it next to impossible for something like pinto beans or peppers to grow, consider using the space for something you know will grow and be ready for harvest before the weather turns.

Flooding and Your Preps—What Can You Do?

flood-139000_960_720Imagine all of your hard work and the money you invested into stockpiling food is washed away in a matter of hours due to a flood. It would be devastating. You would be left with nothing at a time when you needed it most. Starting over would be daunting. The very thought of spending money on new food stores and emergency supplies would be overwhelming. For some, it would be financially impossible. What can you do to protect your emergency supplies from being washed away in a flood?

Know Your Flood Zones

Your best line of defense is knowing whether or not your home is in a flood plain. This can be researched at your local county office or by searching the government site here. You enter your address and a map pops up to let you know what the likelihood of flooding is in your area. If you are in a flood zone, buy the insurance that specifically covers floods. The majority of homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover flooding.

Prepare for Floodsclimate-165080_960_720

If you are in an area where flooding is a possibility, you need to know just how much flood waters you can expect. Is it going to be a few inches or could it be a complete washout? While it is impossible to predict, you can get a general idea by knowing where the flood waters would be coming from. Plan accordingly. Never store your preps directly on the ground. Secure shelving so that the bottom shelf is a minimum of 6 inches off the ground. If you expect higher flood waters, make that bottom shelf a bit higher.

Waterproof Your Preps

Placing your food inside 5-gallon buckets sealed with lids is an excellent way to protect it from flood waters. It would be a good idea to add another layer of protection by placing the food inside Mylar bags or large plastic bags, place the bags into the buckets and then seal the buckets. This will keep the food dry and safe to use. In some rare cases, water may manage to get inside a bucket. If this is the case, toss the food. Never eat food that has been contaminated by flood waters that may harbor all sorts of chemicals, bacteria and viruses.

Flooding can be devastating, but it doesn’t have to destroy everything you have worked to build up. Pay attention to news reports and do what you can to save your emergency supplies, but never risk your life for them. You can always start again.