Showing posts with label Prepare Wise. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Prepare Wise. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Complacency Kills

How are things coming along? Are you in a better place than last year? If one of your goals was to get more fit how is that going? If you wanted to get some quality training has that been accomplished or at least scheduled yet? Did you order that case of ammo (122 gr Tula HP $270/1,000rds). Did you buy that piece of land up in the hills outside of town? What about paying off that credit card? Did you buy that emergency food? What about getting involved in a group? Take the family camping, or even better backpacking, to test your systems? Did you start a micro business as an alternative stream of income? What about bartering for something?

I'm not saying these are necessarily the things you should be doing though they should probably be on the list. The point I'm trying to make is that you should look inward to consider if things are improving or you are just staying in the same spot.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Local Cache Contents Ideas

Without getting too much into my business the topic of caches has recently come up in my life. So I got to thinking about what I would want in a local cache. First I suppose we should define concept of use.

My concept of use is as follows. To provide a locally accessible store of some basic equipment if my primary residence was compromised/ lost/ needed to be evacuated in a hurry. If I need to leave but cannot go home I could hit the cache then bail. 2) To support the movement ouside of my local area if need be by resupplying basic logistics. 3) To prevent a large scale theft incident at our primary residence from wiping out my preps. I'm not saying your needs or motivations are, or should be, identical to mine but there they are.

Got to thinking about what sort of setup would suit that concept of use well. Since I'm a man of the people splitting to different economic cost ranges/ levels of preparation seems prudent. So we will do a good, better, best type thing.

Full set of seasonally apropriate spare clothes per person
1x servicable knife (whatever you have lying around or a Mora) per adult
1x water bottle per person (more in desert type enviornments)
Replacement fire kit (matches, lighter, whatever) per adult
Replacement batteries for your gear as well as some common ones (AA, AAA, D, CR123)
72 hours worth of food
72 hours worth of water
Spare ammunition for weapons as applicable and available
$100 in cash

Full set of seasonally appropriate spare clothes per person
1x serviceable knife (whatever you have lying around or a Mora) per adult
2x water bottle per person (more in desert type environments)
1x day pack per person
1x wool blanket per person
Shelter sufficient for the group. Tent, tarp with ropes, whatever.
Replacement fire kit (matches, lighter, whatever) per adult
Replacement batteries for your gear as well as some common ones (AA, AAA, D, CR123)
Replacement first aid consumables
1 week worth of food for the total group
72 worth of water for your total group
Quality water filter
Spare ammunition 1x load out (for me that would be 50 rounds of 9mm JHP, 240 rounds of 5.56 plus some .22lr and 12 gauge or whatever else you use.)
1x fill up per vehicle
A weapons cleaning kit
A spare gun, whatever you have lying around
Half a month's worth of cash
Backup paperwork, documents, insurance stuff, etc

Full bug out bag per person (above whatever kits you have at home)
60 days worth of food
1 week worth of water in an easy to use Water Storage system by Titan Ready Water
Quality water filter with extra element
Quality emergency radio
Substantial first aid kit
1x FRS type radio per adult
Full replacement set of weapons 
A weapons cleaning kit
Spare ammunition 3x load out's
A month's worth of cash
Half a month's worth of precious metals
Backup paperwork, documents, insurance stuff, etc
If you can get it a Jason Borne style clean set of ID for everyone.

We could maybe add or subtract an item or two but the above lists are generally what I am thinking. If you have significantly different items on your list please share.

Camping Survival's Wise Foods and Berkey water filter bundle sale ends on Tuesday, August 20, 2013,)

Thursday, July 18, 2013

82% Inflation and Precious Metals

FerFAL recently wrote about how Argentina had 82% of their purchasing power over 10 years. While it might not be as drastic I fear we have inflation coming. Honestly it could get really bad. Food and precious metals are good places to put your money.

Speaking of precious metals my recent dip order from JM Bullion showed up today. [It was not involved pwith our advertising relationship, I was just a normal customer.] I ended up on their site and the prices were awesome. They beat the other guy I was dealing with by a couple bucks per item. My gold and silver showed up nicely packaged. In fact it was packaged very well with individual coins in pouches, the pouches in bags, the bags wrapped in bubble wrap and the box covered in packing tape. Had to bust out a knife to get it open.

With silver rounds at $20 and change there really isn't an excuse not to put one away every month or two.Well unless you are buying food and seeds.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Southern Prepper 1 on The Battle of Leningrad/ Stalingrad

Emergency Food Buyer’s Guide

Emergencies Are Real

With all the modern conveniences we enjoy, it’s easy to forget how dependent we are on these technological advancements. Most of us have free-flowing water at our fingertips, electrical power that feeds directly into our homes and 24-hour grocery stores filled with endless supplies of fresh food. This is a luxury; without warning one disaster could delay or destroy our entire food supply.

World news tells us how fragile this dependence is. The world has natural disasters that are occurring with increasing frequency and severity; continuous political unrest rages in countries across the globe; economies are failing all around us. We are constantly reminded that our fragile system is not guaranteed from failure. This system is similar to an elaborate structure made out of dominoes: the shifting of one piece can cause the whole thing to come crashing down.

As the world becomes increasingly less stable, more and more people are choosing to become educated on emergency preparedness. Like those of us at Legacy, people are learning that in an emergency situation or other devastating life event (job loss, severe illness or unanticipated disability), we cannot always rely on government or other people to step in and provide for the needs of our families. Should incident occur the only way to assure ourselves that our loved ones will be taken care of is to get prepared on our own.

If we want to take care of our families’ needs in a crisis, having a sufficient store of emergency food is the crucial first step. Food storage options seem endless. Anyone who wants to start a food storage plan may feel overwhelmed by the large amount of conflicting and confusing information on the web regarding what to store, how much you need and how to store it.

In this guide Legacy Foods outlines some basic information to help you make the best choices as you build your family's emergency food storage supply. We will specifically discuss the benefits and disadvantages of different types of food storage, common questions about how much food to store, the importance of storing healthy and tasty food and how best to store what you have. When planning your food storage you have many considerations to make; this guide will help you get started.

Chapter 1
Food Storage Types Compared

With many food storage options, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. When planning your food storage there are many questions to answer: Are cans better? Should I have bulk foods? Are MREs really a feasible food storage option? What’s all the hype about freeze-dried foods? How do I know which is right for my family?

As you navigate your options many factors will weigh in your decision. This includes: nutritional content; ease of storage and transport; cost; shelf life; taste; ease of preparation. All types of storage food have benefits and you should have some of each in your supply. Below is a summary of the different types of food storage options and their relative benefits and drawbacks.

Pantry/Canned Foods

Pantry foods are probably the most familiar type of food storage. Cans are a simple and easy way to start storing food because you can find a wide variety in any grocery store. This group also includes boxed items and other packaged foods. Filling your pantry with foods that you eat every day makes great short-term food storage because these foods are convenient to use and easy to prepare. Weekly sales are a great way to quickly build up your food supply fairly inexpensively. One added benefit of cans is that they do not require cooking and can be eaten cold if needed. These foods are ready to eat with minimal-to-no preparation. Wet-packed cans contain water or juice with the contents of the can making them beneficial if water supplies are low during an emergency situation.

Pantry goods typically have expiration dates from one to five years so they need to be rotated more frequently than other types of food storage. Many pantry foods are not packaged for long-term storage and are more susceptible to bugs and rodents. These are foods that you should eat and rotate on a regular basis; simply put the newer food behind what is already on your pantry shelf. Make sure to check for dents in cans and only buy non-damaged items so the food is not compromised. Make sure to have at least one manual can opener in case of a power outage; it would be a challenge to open canned food without one.

Cans are not a great portable option because they are heavy and bulky, making them difficult to store and pack. Boxed items are lighter but typically require other ingredients to prepare. When buying canned foods make sure to get the appropriate size. Large #10 cans are a common food storage option and seem to be a great value for your money; however, they can be a bad idea because once opened you have to consume the contents within a short amount of time or it will spoil. Choose your #10 cans wisely our you could be eating the same food item for several meals in a row, finding a way to store leftovers or dealing with spoilage. In summary, pantry foods are the first you will use in an emergency because of the easy preparation and limited shelf life.

Bulk Foods

Bulk foods are another conventional way to store food. When properly stored these dried items have a long shelf life; some will virtually last forever. Typical bulk foods are wheat, powdered milk, corn meal, dried potatoes, dry beans, corn, pasta, and white rice. Many people like bulk foods because it can be a do-it-yourself method of storage. Other items available in bulk include vegetable oils, baking powder, coffee, tea, cocoa, salt, sugar, honey, bouillon and vinegar.

Storing bulk foods is not an ideal food storage option because it takes more preparation and creative cooking to produce a variety of meals. On the other hand, bulk foods are a fantastic way to stretch out any meal and will allow you to make things from scratch. Adding rice, pasta or beans to a meal can bulk up the meal and stretch your food dollar. With wheat, yeast and salt you can make a loaf of bread. The downside to bulk food is that you will need to have an alternative cooking should you lose power or gas. You won’t be able to make much from these food items without the ability to cook, bake, boil or simmer.

Bulk foods can be difficult to store because they come in large, heavy packages or containers, some of which might need to be repackaged for long shelf life. This is not the type of food you want to carry with you if you need to evacuate your home. The biggest disadvantage of bulk food storage is that you will need to cook mostly from scratch. Keep in mind that though bulk foods may provide more food per pound, they also require longer planning and preparation in order to have a wide variety of meals.

A significant drawback to having only bulk foods in your food storage is that you are unable to make a quick meal. During the immediate aftermath of a disaster you won't have time to stop and cook for 3 hours; you will be focusing on other things and will need something you can quickly eat with little preparation.


Meals, Ready-To-Eat (MREs) are military rations. The name says it all; these full-course meals have everything in one package: entree, side dish, dessert, drink and condiments; these often include a small heating device. MREs do not require water and are the most convenient food storage option. Some people like the taste but others do not. This is what our military uses because of their high calorie content and because they are shelf stable. MREs also include a spoon, toilet paper, wet nap and salt with every meal. Because of the high calories they are an excellent choice for a bug out or evacuation situation.

Though they can be on the heavy side, MREs are a good option because they are very portable. They are the perfect food to put in your evacuation bag. MREs a great short-term, zero-preparation food to live on until you are able to get to a more secure location. The shelf life of MREs can be 5 to 10 years if stored well; after that, palatability can be affected. The greatest disadvantage of MREs is that they are very expensive and have a limited variety. They are best reserved for short timeframes.

Dehydrated or Freeze-dried /Long-Term Storage 10-25+ Shelf Life

Another emergency food option is freeze-dried and/or dehydrated foods. This type of food storage is convenient because it is delivered already packaged for long-term storage. Some foods are better preserved using the freeze-drying process; others are better dehydrated. Some companies may stick to one method while others use a combination of both in their prepackaged food storage options.

Dehydration is a long-standing method of preserving food. During this process foods are put through a low temperature chamber where up to 98% of the moisture is taken out and then the food is packaged. This dehydration process reduces both the size and weight of the food while maintaining flavor. Tests have shown that texture and color can be affected with this process. Some experts believe that nutrients are reduced during the dehydration process but others do not agree.

Dehydrated foods are lightweight and can be ideal for quick mobility in the event of an evacuation. These foods are typically not full meals but are the foods you use to make meals such as: fruits, vegetables, jerky, eggs, pancake mix, butter, tomato and cheese powder.

Dehydrating can be done at home but can be very time-consuming; storage life will be shorter without the right packaging. Dehydrating food at home can be a cost-effective way of adding to your food storage if you incorporate these foods into your everyday cooking. Professionally dehydrated foods are properly packaged and can store for a much longer time.

Freeze drying is a process of preserving food that requires high-end equipment that flash freezes fresh or cooked food. The food is then put in a vacuum chamber that remains as cold as -50° F. Minimal heat is applied and the ice evaporates without ever going back into the liquid phase. This removes almost all of the moisture from the food. Freeze dried foods make for better tasting meals because the process preserves the color, flavor, shape and texture of the original food. Because water has been removed it weighs less, making it a great portable option. One downside is the slightly higher cost than dehydrated food. Another is that since it retains the shape of the food it is also slightly bulkier to store.

Both dehydrated and freeze-dried meals have many advantages over other food storage options. Overall they are easier to store, are light-weight, take up little space and do not require refrigeration. They do require water for reconstitution so you will need to increase your water storage accordingly. These foods are properly packaged for long-term storage and easier mobility. These foods save you time because they are quick and easy to prepare. They are also nutritious and great tasting.

The main disadvantage of these types of foods is the cost. Due to the intense processes these foods undergo as well as being pre-packaged for long-term storage, the cost is higher.

SUMMARY: Study these options and decide which types can fit into your plan. Each level of food storage has advantages and disadvantages. Because of this many people choose to have a combination of the food storage types for the most comprehensive plan. Consider all the factors and store what is right for your family.

Chapter 2
How Much Food to Store

When starting their food storage people commonly ask: How much food do I need? There are a few considerations to make when deciding on quantity. Each food storage type has its own characteristics so included below are some things to keep in mind when determining how much to store.

Pantry/Canned Foods:

If you decide to include pantry/canned foods such as the grocery items that you consume regularly, calculating this can be fairly simple. First figure out how much you and your family go through in a typical week. Take that number and multiply it by the amount of time you would like to have food on hand and strive to obtain that amount. Thirty days is a good initial goal.

Taking advantage of grocery store sales is a great way to quickly build up this portion of your food storage. Remember: eat what you store and store what you eat. This means don’t buy foods that you don’t normally eat just because you see them on sale. By purchasing and preparing the foods you normally eat, rotating out the oldest items in your pantry first and then replacing these items regularly you ensure that this portion of your food storage is always fully stocked and up-to-date.

Bulk Items:

When it comes to bulk foods, remember that these storage items are excellent for extending meals that you make with your other storage foods or making meals from scratch. Adding rice, pasta or beans to any meal will stretch your food dollar regardless if the meal is canned, freeze-dried or a long-term storage food, Bulk foods are also great for having everyday essentials on hand such as salt, sugar and flour. For example, you will want to store sugar if you are used adding it to your daily coffee.

When determining how much to purchase consider your family’s typical serving sizes and then buy the items based on how many times a week you plan on needing them. Having a surplus will never an issue because bulk foods can last a very long time if properly stored. Note that when purchasing bulk food items you may need to repackage them in order to extend their shelf life sufficiently for your needs.


If you plan to include MREs as part of your food storage, keep in mind their limited variety and high cost; they are best suited for short-term emergencies. MREs don’t require any cooking so put them in your go bags or evacuation packs. A case of MREs contains 12 meals. Each MRE contains 800-1200 calories so you only need about two per day. A smart goal would be to have one case of MREs per person; this will provide approximately 1 week of meals for each family member.

Dehydrated and Freeze Dried Foods

Dehydrated and freeze-dried meals are much lighter and can come in small packages for portability. These, too, could double as a bug out supply with the understanding that extra water would be needed for reconstitution.

While you can get individual food items that are either dehydrated or freeze dried, one advantage of these foods is that you can buy prepackaged meals and then all that you would need to make a tasty meal is hot water. These complete meals may not be as convenient to eat as MREs but they provide a much greater variety of meals from which to choose.

Unlike pantry food and MREs, calculating how much freeze-dried and/or dehydrated food you will need is not easy so we will guide you through it.

How much Long-Term Food is Enough?

When deciding how much freeze-dried and dehydrated foods to add to your emergency supply, the most important rule to remember is to go by calories not by serving size. Emergency food companies have different definitions for what constitutes a serving and emergency food kits are not one-size-fits-all even though they may be advertised that way. The first step is to figure out how many calories you and your family consume on a daily basis. Next multiply that by the number of days for which you want to be prepared. This becomes the minimum number of calories that you need to have in your food storage program.

Once you know how many calories your family requires you can figure out how much dehydrated and freeze-dried meals you need. Keep in mind that your daily caloric requirement changes based on what activities you are doing. For example, a hard work day cutting down trees and moving storm debris will require more calories than sitting around playing cards while waiting for a storm to pass. Its best to assume you will need more calories than less. In general teenage and adult males need 2800 calories per day, teenage and adult females require 2200 and children 13 and under use 1400. Infants require special food so plan and purchase food accordingly.

Once you have the total daily calories needed decide how many months’ worth of food you want. This is influenced by your personal comfort level. The longer period of time you can supply for the better but most people can’t afford to go out and buy a year’s worth of food without some prior planning and budgeting. The best recommendation is to start where you can. First build up a 2-week supply and then move to 30 days’ worth. Once you have that, work up to three months, then six and then a year. Build up your food storage supply as big as you need in order to feel safe and to be able to provide for your family in any disaster situation.

Watch out For Serving Size

Remember when choosing an emergency food supplier to look at the total calories in what they call a serving. Similar with our everyday food, a single serving is not enough calories to be considered a complete meal. Instead consider the total number of calories in the package. Going by our figures above an adult male needs about 2800 calories a day or 933 calories per meal.

Many people make the incorrect assumption that a serving size should contain enough calories for a complete meal. In truth, there are no standards for serving sizes; they are only suggested portions by the manufacturer.

Serving sizes are recommendations that also assume that you will also be eating other foods. Focus on the amount of calories in the whole package instead of the number of servings per package. Don’t expect an entrée meal to complete your calorie intake. Look into having snacks, drinks, fruits, vegetables, rice and other food items to help increase your daily calories. Having a variety of foods to eat creates normalcy in an emergency situation.

SUMMARY: Deciding which food storage option you need and how much to secure can be overwhelming. We have included a worksheet at the end of this document to help you develop the best food storage plan for you and your family. We will help you ask the right questions, provide you with answers and help you make the best choice.

Chapter 3
What To Store...Ingredients Matter

One common misconception about emergency preparedness is that food storage quality doesn’t matter as long as you have some food stored that will last for a long time without spoiling. Having something stored is better than nothing but it is also crucial to fill your body with nourishing ingredients during an emergency. This will keep you satisfied and in top form. Eating lesser-quality foods can leave you susceptible to sickness and diminish your mental and physical health. You are storing food to protect your family against starvation but you also want to protect them from sickness and diseases caused by harmful ingredients. Do this by knowing what goes into the food that you buy.

Long-term emergency food storage is made to last a long time. Some companies in the industry cut corners and add a variety of artificial preservatives, dyes and flavors in order to lengthen the shelf life of their foods. If you are committing to protect your family be sure to make the best, healthiest choices possible. When selecting your food storage beware of artificial ingredients. Here are other red flags to consider as you look around.

Avoid Hydrolyzed Yeast Extract and Similar Flavorings

Hydrolyzed yeast extract is a controversial ingredient found in many packaged foods and is common in food storage items. It is primarily used as a flavor-enhancer and is created by breaking down yeast cells. The FDA classifies yeast extract as a natural ingredient but according to many health experts, yeast extract is a cheaper alternative to monosodium glutamate (MSG) and actually does contain some MSG.(1) Some health and consumer advocates say that labeling something as containing yeast extract is the way food companies avoid saying that a product contains MSG.(2)

MSG has many negative side effects. Consumption of MSG has been linked to a variety of scary conditions including headaches, numbness in the face and neck, heart palpitations, chest pain, nausea, weakness, appetite control problems and other negative symptoms.(1) Whether or not you have had a sensitivity to MSG in the past, it is best to avoid this ingredient in your storage food altogether.

For a good list of other additives that are linked to MSG check out the following articles:

Consider GMO-Free Foods

When looking for emergency food it is equally important that the ingredients are free from genetically modified organisms or labeled GMO-free. The use of genetically modified foods is another controversial topic in the world of food and nutrition. It is best to avoid GMOs while the debate is still going on, particularly if this is a long-term purchase.

Genetically modified organisms are created by taking the genetic material of one organism and inserting it into the genetic code of another. This bold practice is becoming more and more widespread despite being widely acknowledged as a risky and understudied process. Many experts opposed to genetically modified foods argue that there has not been adequate testing on human subjects. Despite the increasing insertion of GMO ingredients into mainstream foods there are still too many unknowns about the health effects these human-engineered foods could have. Some health groups like the Center for Food Safety have gone so far as to claim that genetically modified foods can increase the likelihood of antibiotic resistance, immune-suppression and even cancer.(3) Why put your family at risk with untested ingredients when you will have other worries to contend with in a survival situation?

Because the use of GMOs in manufactured foods is becoming such a widespread practice, very few emergency foods are free of GMO ingredients. However, there are a few companies that produce foods that are GMO-free. If this is an issue that is important to you, be certain that the emergency food is certified GMO-free. Some companies may claim to be free of genetically modified ingredients but without the certification have no proof.

Other Health Considerations

Other health considerations include checking amounts of cholesterol, trans fat and sodium in the food storage. Packaged foods often have high amounts of these three things and emergency foods are no exception. High-quality emergency food brands limit cholesterol, trans fat, and sodium amounts but you need to read the labels to be sure.

Make Sure Your Food Storage Ingredients Will Stand The Test Of Time

Emergency food should be able to last and still be healthful. As you look for the right emergency food be aware that some food storage companies haven’t done their research on ingredients that spoil versus those that keep. As a result they incorporate ingredients into their emergency food that go bad after a relatively short period of time. Canola oil, for example, will only last a year before it goes rancid, thus spoiling whatever food storage in which it is used. Novice food companies use canola oil in their granola to make the clusters stick together and uneducated food buyers end up with a worthless product after just a year.

Bottom line: it’s important to know what goes into your storage food. Take the time to do some research on the food you are buying; be sure it will contribute to the health and well-being of you and your family in a disaster.

Chapter 4
Taste Matters

You have made your checklist, done the research and narrowed down your options; now it comes down to taste and appeal.

Emergency-preparedness gurus often publish lists of specific items you need to store for an emergency. One popular guideline suggests something like this: for a year’s worth of food storage each person needs 350 pounds of grain, 75 lbs of milk, 65 lbs of sugar, etc. These types of specific food guidelines can be a helpful starting point but one size does not fit all. That guideline is useless for people who have food sensitivities such as gluten or dairy intolerance. Review the first chapter of this guide and consider what is best for your family.

Regardless if you choose canned, bulk or long-term storage foods, the most important principal we stress is to store the food that your family eats the most. Having food routines that carry over from your life before will make the hard adjustments easier in a disaster situation. Buying things you don’t regularly eat just for added variety on the shelf may sound like a good idea. Unfortunately these will likely be the last foods you reach for and if not regularly rotated could be expired, possibly ending up not usable at all.

Do you remember going to dinner at a friend’s house as a kid? Even if it was a close friend everything about the dinner seemed foreign to you from the way they folded their napkins to the saltiness of their gravy. Even the smell of their cooking was different from the dinnertime smells in your kitchen at home. Little differences like this mattered and affected your comfort level. Eating food from different cultures can sometimes put us in this situation, too. Routines, especially involving food, can be powerful in an emergency situation. Food affects the way we feel. If unfamiliar, food can make a scary situation that much worse.

Many food storage suppliers offer entrée options that are familiar favorites like macaroni and cheese, enchiladas and various soups. Look around at all available options and make selections based on what your family eats on a regular basis.

Store Food that Tastes Good

At first glance taste might not seem like a very important factor when purchasing emergency food. It’s easy to justify buying food that you don’t normally eat and telling yourself, “It will be an emergency. Whether I like the food I’m eating or not will be the least of my worries.” However, making sure your food storage is appealing and tastes good to you and your family is more important than it initially seems. Having food that’s delicious and comforting, especially in an emergency situation, will bring peace of mind. Another good thing about having food storage you like is knowing that your family will eat it and it won't go to waste.

If you have kids, buying good-tasting food is even more important. Kids are picky eaters. If it is hard to get your child to eat during a regular night at the dinner table, think of the desperation you will feel trying to get your child to eat in an emergency situation. This is not just about preferences, either. In emergency situations kids have a particularly hard time forcing themselves to eat, especially if the food is unfamiliar. On the other hand, if the food is something your child loves, it will really help.

Food that is familiar and tastes good has the power to make us feel relaxed, comfortable and cared for, even in stressful situations. Ideally, you would occasionally replace your regular meal with something from your storage food so that your family gets used to eating it.

Sample your Options

Since long-term food storage is made by others it is important to sample before buying. Never make a food storage purchase without first sampling one product from each of the companies you have narrowed down. Most food storage companies have small sample packs of their larger food kits available that are fairly inexpensive. Test a few and choose the ones that most suit your family’s tastes. This not only gives you an idea as to how the food will taste, but you will see what is involved in the preparation.

When ordering a sample ask the company if the food they are sending to you is the same as what is in the larger packages. Sometimes companies send out higher quality food in their sample packages to trick buyers into thinking that their food is better than it really is.

Variety is Optimal

When building your food supply, make sure to include a variety of all types of food storage. No one wants to be stuck eating canned beans for six months. Eating the same foods for a long period of time can also leave you deficient in the vitamins and minerals you normally get from a wider variety of foods..

Start collecting different entrée options and then add in “good” calorie side dishes for variety. You can also expand your food storage assortment by purchasing more canned goods, bulk items and other supplementing items. A wide food variety is enjoyable and will also provide options should you develop an intolerance to a particular food.

Dietary Needs

If you or a family member has special dietary needs, some food storage companies offer gluten-free, dairy-free and vegetarian options. You want to store food similar to what you regularly eat that has already been adapted to your needs.

Plan on Extra Water

When purchasing items for your storage plan consider your additional water needs. Unlike canned food, bulk foods need water for recipes and preparation; freeze-dried and dehydrated food also need water for reconstitution. We take for granted that every day we have water immediately on hand. Figuring out how much water you use every day and calculating how much you need to store for food preparation can become overwhelming. Water storage takes up a lot of space and is hard to accomplish. Your best option is to first store what you can. We recommend that you also invest in a quality water filter and locate an alternate water source.

Don’t Forget the Treats

The idea of storing a few luxury items that you are used to having and would not like to do without is commonly overlooked. These items might be coffee, chocolate or other specialty foods that are part of your routine. Having luxury items may seem trivial but a simple treat or comfort snack will be invaluable in a survival situation. Not only will it be good for morale, you could use it as a bartering tool should the situation come to that. Having treats stored for an emergency benefits everyone.

Pet Considerations

For people with pets it is a common practice to store several months’ worth of food at a time in case of emergency. Because dry pet food can go rancid relatively quickly it’s a good idea to continually rotate through your stock. Canned pet food can last as long as regular canned foods but is typically pricier than dry pet food.

Dry pet food is a good option and can be purchased in larger quantities. This pet food contains fats and oils and will spoil if not stored correctly. Dry food stored in large plastic, glass or metal bins can help protect the food against insects but exposure to light, air, humidity and heat speeds up the rate at which the food degrades. The fats and oils can stick to the bottom and sides of the container leaving a film that can become rancid over time. This further contaminates other bags of food added to it and could lead to a health risk for your animal.  

It is best to wash and dry the container thoroughly prior to adding new food. You could also keep the dry food in its original packaging when placing it in one of these containers. Make sure to get the air out of the bag after each use and seal with a good lid. If these dry foods are unopened or stored well the shelf life can be up to one year. Always check the “best buy date” for your particular brand. The recommended “use by” date for an open package is six weeks. If you repackage this food into food grade buckets and add oxygen absorbers you may increase this to up to 2 years, depending on the food. Further measures must be taken to avoid spoilage for longer storage.

Legacy Premium is proud to introduce the first healthy, well-balanced dog or cat food storage with a 10-year shelf life. Our pet food storage is stored in heavy-duty Mylar pouches complete with oxygen absorbers; pouches are stored in stackable, waterproof and rodent-proof plastic buckets that are re-sealable and BPA-free.

Food storage can be a big purchase so take the time to figure out what foods you and your whole family will want to eat. An emergency is not the time to try new foods, nor is it the time to force your family to eat food they do not like. Food should be a comfort rather than a negative factor adding to the stress of a bad situation. Hopefully this is food insurance that you never have to use but if you do, you want it to be good, healthy food that is enjoyable to eat.

Chapter 5
Make it Last

Now that you know what you want to store and how much, you need to plan how you will store it. At the beginning of this guide we outlined how long you can expect each type of food storage to last if properly stored. Now learn what you can do to achieve the maximum shelf life of your storage food.

Battling the Elements

It is important to know the four enemies that can impact the shelf life of your storage food: oxygen, temperature, moisture and light. These four threats affect all types of food storage: cans, bulk, MRE’s and long-term dehydrated and freeze dried foods.

Oxygen: In order to achieve optimal and long shelf life, storage foods must have extremely low oxygen levels. Oxygen destroys shelf life because even small amounts will allow bacteria to grow and spoil food. Oxygen can also alter the fats, colors, vitamins and flavors in food storage.

Once a food has been packaged the residual oxygen level should be well below 2%. If a food storage company will not disclose the levels of oxygen in their food or if they simply admit that they do not test for oxygen levels, steer clear of that food. Food that is not tested for extremely low oxygen cannot last for the amount of time most companies advertise. This is another important reason to purchase properly packed foods or repack it for maximum shelf life.

Temperature: To extend the shelf life food must be stored at room temperature or below. Higher temperatures can be damaging to food storage because proteins can breakdown and vitamins and nutritional elements can be destroyed. Color, flavor, smell and taste can also be affected. Temperature is the one element that can have the greatest effect on the overall quality of your food. Store your food in the coolest environment available.

Some possible places might be root cellars, basements and under-the-stairs storage. Other areas include pantries and closets that are away from heating vents or refrigerators/freezers. Optimal storage is in a consistently cool and dry place. Storing your food in a garage, attic or outdoor shed is not recommended since these places can get very hot.

Moisture: One of the reasons freeze-dried and dehydrated food is so well-suited for long-term storage is because most of the water has been removed. Foods that are stored in a humid environment are likely to spoil from growth of microorganisms. Low moisture is also important for storing bulk items such as grains, beans, rice and flour.

Light: Light can deteriorate vitamins, proteins and fats in food. It can also discolor foods and affect flavors. Keep your food storage in a low lit area if possible. For this reason long-term food storage containers are always opaque.


Packaging is an important consideration when choosing your long-term storage food. Here are the most common packaging options and materials that companies use:

Cans: Canning has been an efficient way of packaging and storing food for many years. This airtight, solid container can withstand the slight vacuum that the oxygen absorber packs may create. Once the container is opened the preserved food begins to break down due to moisture, oxygen, temperature, and light. The food may still seem dry but the moisture content of the air is enough for bacteria to begin to grow. Be careful when deciding which foods to buy and store in cans. As long as the can has a good seal this is a good method of packaging food storage. One downside is that because the can retains its shape, it is nearly impossible to know if the seal is still good; the only way to tell is to open the can.

Mylar bags: Mylar bags are a polyester film laminated to aluminum foil. This produces a strong material that creates a barrier from oxygen and moisture and is highly resistant to puncturing. Essentially it is a flexible can and an excellent choice for long-term food storage. Having more manageable portions is a great advantage of storing food in Mylar bags; this provides less opportunity for spoilage, insect infestation and waste.

Unfortunately Mylar can still be punctured. Unlike #10 cans it is easier to tell when the seal has been broken or compromised; if the seal has been broken you will see the puncture or the bag will become bloated. If the bag has a vacuum you'll know if the seal was compromised because the bag won’t be tight around the food anymore. These signs allow for easier inspection of your storage food and eliminate the chance of discovering your food has gone bad because of a poor seal, right when you need it most.

Mylar packages combined with both oxygen absorbers and nitrogen flushing can virtually eliminate all oxygen and currently provides the best packaging available today.

Oxygen absorbers: An oxygen absorber is a small packet of material used to remove the available oxygen in a container and increases shelf life. The active ingredient is an iron oxide powder that chemically reacts and removes oxygen from the surrounding atmosphere. The absorber can prevent food color change, stop oils in foods from going rancid and prevent the growth of aerobic microorganisms that need oxygen to thrive.

Nitrogen Flushing: Nitrogen flushing is one of the newest, most efficient ways to package long-term storage food. Nitrogen doesn't react with food like oxygen does so foods will stay fresher longer. It doesn't affect the flavor or texture of the food, either. The nitrogen fills up the bag, flushing out the air and oxygen. Nitrogen flushing is a safe, FDA-approved method of packaging food storage.

Carefully choose the type of packaging you will use to protect your food storage investment. Consider all the available packaging options for the food you want to store. Being knowledgeable in these practices and how they are used can help you make good decisions for your food storage plan.

Additional Storage Tip

Make sure that your food supply is safe from rodents, insects and other intruders. Keeping it three to six inches off the ground and away from walls is generally a good way to avoid these pests. As an additional measure don’t store food containers directly on concrete floors because the moisture in the concrete can seep into plastic, corrode metal and dampen paper sacks. Store your food supply on wooden pallets to avoid this.

Things to Keep in Mind

Being prepared is simply having an alternate way of doing everyday things should your daily routine be disrupted. When preparing food storage meals consider three important things: heat, water and sanitation. 

Heat: How are you going to cook if there is no electricity or gas? Have several alternate methods for preparing your food.

Water: Take into account the foods you have chosen to store. If you are storing bulk, freeze-dried or dehydrated food, make sure you store extra water, too.

Sanitation: Consider storing paper plates and plastic cutlery to conserve water. By throwing away or burning dishes you keep germs from spreading and prevent illness.

Get Prepared Then Rest Easy

You are now be equipped with the knowledge and tools you need to make the right decision for your food storage needs. You know the various types of food storage and the benefits and drawbacks of each. You know what to avoid with food storage and how to properly store it. You have learned to do your research and know what you are buying; you can now make informed choices that will cater to your family’s needs.

Too often the message of emergency preparedness is doom and gloom. While food storage will certainly help in large disasters, it can also help in everyday emergencies such as a decrease of income through job loss, injury or illness.

No matter how you use your food storage, knowing that you have it will alleviate stress. You will have peace of mind will because you will be able to feed your family with the ample supply of emergency food stored in your home. Most importantly you won’t need to rely on others to step in and provide for you because you prepared ahead of time. You can know that you’ve done all you could and that you will be able to meet your family’s needs no matter the situation.

This Guide has Been Brought to You by Legacy Foods:

If you choose to include long-term dehydrated and freeze-dried foods in your plan we hope you will look closely at Legacy Foods. We are here to help you prepare your family for emergencies by providing the best prices on freeze-dried food storage anywhere. We believe that Legacy food is the smartest choice because we offer the best overall value. We have the lowest cost per day and a greater variety of gourmet tasting freeze-dried meals than others in the business.

We partnered with some fantastic companies to come up with products that meet all the requirements for great food storage: nutritional but full of delicious flavor; GMO-free with no artificial flavorings; vegetarian and gluten free options; top of the line packaging that ensures a 25-year shelf life.

Please visit us at:


(1) “Hidden Sources of MSG.” Truth in Labeling. Truth in Labeling Campaign. 11 Sept. 2012. Web. 8 Nov. 2012.

(2) “Many ‘Healthy’ and Vegetarian Foods Contain MSG in the Form of Yeast Extract.” Natural News. N.p. 11 Nov. 2012. Web. 11 Nov. 2012. <

(3) “Genetically Engineered Crops.” Center for Food Safety. The Center for Food Safety. N.d. Web. 9 Nov. 2012. <

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Reflections on Weak Spots and Priorities

There are some times when you take a step back then reflect on life. I had one of them recently. The good thing is that overall the results were positive. Great family, pretty decent job I am fairly happy with, not a financial mess. Certainly could be worse. There were however some areas where I came up wanting.

Fitness- I am not in terrible shape but am not in great shape either. It's taken awhile to get there but I may have finally realized that youth's forgiveness for poor diet, excessive alcohol consumption and less than ideal consistency is no longer in my favor. Being good 5 days a week isn't cutting it anymore. I can do anything I have in the past, just have to more consistently make positive healthy choices.

Training- I need to get some quality training to beef up weaker skill sets, specifically handgun and defensive shotgun stuff. While more stuff would be nice I need to get better with the (already decent stash) of stuff I have. Am saving some money towards that goal now. Once we are settled in the next place I'll start pursuing available opportunities. We will be within reasonable driving distance (3-4 hours) of a couple large urban areas so there should be good options. Hopefully ammo comes back by then so I can get enough 9mm fmj to do this without hitting the stash too hard.

Food Storage- We have come a long way in a few months but are not "there" by a long shot. Need a whole lot more long term staples and a good stash of emergency food for variety and various kits.

Those are going to be the preparedness focus's for the foreseeable future.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Cache Location Ideas

Our ongoing discussion about caches largely follows my thoughts and stuff I see on youtube and whatnot. Take some clothes, simple affordable gear, a bit of emergency food, few one ounce silver rounds if you have em, a basic gun that is gathering dust and a couple boxes of bullets. If you can add a tactical manual like Contact by Max Velocity and a nice affordable Berkey Sport Water Filter then the cache is pretty well set. Many folks could do that with stuff that is lying around in piles of like gear at their house. Anyway the concept of locations has come up.

Fundamentally in terms of locations I fear people can get so focused on finding a perfect scenario. I do not have a trusted survivalist family member who lives on a farm 150 miles away from me in a very remote area. Most people do not have that perfect scenario either. The issue is that people get so focused on finding a truly perfect scenario that they do not actually take action on more realistic scenario. Inevitably realistic scenarios have downsides. That is called life. 

In his excellent article John talks extensively about picking a location for burying stuff.While a bit labor intensive the security of a well thought out buried cache is pretty awesome.

Sootch did a good video on a storage space cache

I think this idea has some merit. Also this is a very good option YOU CAN DO. There are rental storage places in the burbs and cities. There really are not any excuses here. Storage units can of course be broken into however I do not personally know anyone who has had that happen to them. I would be discrete about putting stuff into the storage unit. Long guns in a duffel bag or something. Also I would have a decent percentage of the unit filled with mundane boring stuff. If you have 4 big boxes of old books, one of which has a case that is holding a couple pistols, a crook in a hurry isn't going to find it. Toss a broken down AR into box 3 of "Christmas Stuff" and you are good to go.

Even if a friend is located in the next town 10 miles down the road a cache at their place still has value. Your home might burn down. A localized disaster like a tornado might get you but would probably miss them. Some sort of situation like a chemical spill or wildfire could force you to evacuate in a hurry but leave his place unaffected. You could offer some space to the friend in return.

Some sort of cache could also be very useful in other scenarios. Claire Wolfe touched on this also.

A relative in an area you regularly travel to might have space for a Rubbermaid container in their garage or barn.

The point I am trying to get to is that there are options. Maybe some day when we all buy that little, or maybe not so little piece of land in the hinter boonies that will be a great option. However great these possibilities down the road are we need realistic options for today. The point I am trying to get across is that there are some realistic options for caches that most people can implement in the near future should they want to.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Hoss USMC Checking and Moving a Cache

An interesting video from the Hoss. I think this brings up a good point that a cache does not have to contain 3-4 grand in high tech gear and guns. Some clothes, simple affordable gear, a bit of emergency food, few one ounce silver rounds if you have em, a basic gun that is gathering dust and a couple boxes of bullets. If you can add a tactical manual like Contact by Max Velocity and a nice affordable Berkey Sport Water Filter then the cache is pretty well set. Many folks could do that with stuff that is lying around in piles of like gear at their house. DO IT!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Caches Continued

 TEOTWAWKI Blog  asked  if anyone actually has caches (obviously bear in mind considerable OPSEC when answering) to which I responded "When it comes to caches I think we can get too narrowly focused to only stuff buried in the ground. A tuff box full of gear and food in Dad's barn is a cache. A couple guns in the basement of a buddy who you visit and sometimes go shooting with is a cache. A rental storage locker a mile from home (or in a neighboring town, whatever) that stores Christmas stuff, off season sporting goods/ lawn stuff and in the back has some gear, food and a couple of hidden guns is a cache.

In that explanation is a combination of things I have done, am doing or will do."

Now the discussion of different potential types of caches has come up. It seems like a worthy one to chime in on. In no particular order here we go.

Contents: Alexander is absolutely right that your concept of use needs to dictate the contents of a cache. What makes sense to have is definitely driven by your plan(s). Two thousand pounds of wheat isn't very handy if you really just need 30 gallons of gas, some water and a couple days worth of food.

That being said I think there is some small, fairly affordable essential stuff that is too useful to not put into just about every cache.  A few lighters, a good basic knife, a water bottle, some water purification tablets, a few batteries, a bit of food, etc. You could do this or under $20 if you have the knife already or $50 if you don't. Not perfect but better than nothing. If you need to get into a cache odds are somebody around needs this stuff. If space allows I would add a full change of clothes per family member (including footwear and appropriate outerwear) to that essential stuff.


-E&E. The point of this cache is to provide you the necessary equipment, clothing and food to make it from point A to B during an escape and evasion scenario. Since you might get away from an ugly scenario barefoot in boxers or gym shorts it makes sense for this sort of cache to have a set of suitable clothes including footwear and some basic survival type equipment, a bit of food and probably a weapon.

John Mosby described the contents of a 5-6 gallon bucket E&E type cache "What survivalist/prepper doesn’t have a metric shit-ton of plastic, five-gallon buckets with resealable lids laying around for food-storage. As long as they are not buried too deep, where crushing from pressure becomes an issue, these are almost perfect cache containers. One bucket can hold almost an entire outfit of gear for one man (LC-2 type LBE, a can of ammunition in magazines, a change of clothes, some boots, and some food. Even a small carbine or rifle, broken down, can fit. A shop-built SMG would be a good fit here, after it had been thoroughly tested for function. Snipped for brevity Ryan)

I think we need to fight the temptation to think all 'hide in the woods' here unless your environment and skill sets really lend themselves to that. Lets face it, bad things sometimes happen to good people. A pistol, some EDC stuff, a change of clothes, a bit of basic survival stuff just in case, a wad of cash and if you are so inclined and can wrangle it a set of clean ID might be a whole lot more useful than an ax to build a cabin in the woods.

[Note- In re reading John Mosby's excellent article on the matter I was able to better organize my thoughts on cache types by blatantly stealing his concepts of cache types.]

-Resupply. This would have a resupply of consumables and probably some likely to break key gear. I like the speedball idea. I am familiar with the concept though not in the cache context. For reference a speedball is a  relatively small  pre packaged set of stuff to resupply a unit in a prolonged fight. It would certainly include ammo, water and medical supplies, a bit of food and some batteries might be included depending on the situation. For folks operating mounted fuel would be included also. This sort of thing would be the perfect between point A and B cache. For those who might plan on a long drive it makes sense to have fuel, a bit of oil, water, some food and a bit of ammo stashed away. Driving beats the hell out of walking but you need a plan to support it.

-Redundancy. Redundancy in alternate locations like the coveted "Bug Out Location" is something survivalists generally understand. Redundancy in place is something I think people often ignore at their peril. Far too many survivalists have all of their proverbial eggs in the basket of their home and out buildings. If their home was lost due to fire or they needed to leave (maybe not by choice) they would be hosed. Even folks who plan on staying at home AKA bugging in would be well advised to spread their stuff out a bit. On a large enough piece of sufficiently isolated property burying stuff a terrain feature away (out of sight and ideally sound from the house) is an option. Other options exist.

Cost: Alexander Wolfe hit on cost. Tactical types and survivalists tend to accumulate stuff. Part of it is the nature of finding the right gear for us. We inevitably work out way through some knives/ flashlights/ chest rigs/ holsters/ in some cases guns that are perfectly serviceable but just don't quite fit us right. These boxes/ bags/ piles of stuff are the perfect starting point for caches. I sort of look at caches as a natural outgrowth of said accumulation. Get to a point where you have a bunch of stuff around, look at making a cache, repeat until you feel comfortable then stop.

[The topic of guns inevitably comes up. I cannot tell you what to do or whether you should or should not include guns in caches. First as John Mosby told me in his ever blunt manner a gun that is cached cannot shoot anybody in the face. It also will not kill a deer or whatever. If you have a basic firearms setup (and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that) thren caching guns does not make sense. However many, probably most, of the people reading this do not fall into that situation. They have a few extra guns lying around, extra's we got as back up's as well as guns we got because they were too good of a deal to pass up or we moved on but could not bring ourselves to sell them, whatever.

If you have more than a couple extra guns lying around I would think really hard about spreading them out a bit. We talked about this before (albeit in the context of gun confiscation) and it brings up a variety of opinions. However I think a rational person can see that having a nice setup of guns at your house and a few that are not really used set away here or there makes a lot more sense than a whole bunch of guns at your house and no backup plans. ]

Other times we do need to procure stuff to go into caches. Cache gear is far more likely to come from Old Grouch's Surplus or Sportsmens Guide than the a cool tactical company or REI. Military Surplus stuff that is rugged, cheap and readily available are perfect candidates here. Ditto bic lighters, Mora and buck 110 knives, etc. If you can afford to toss in a Solo Stove and a bunch of emergency food  plus some sweet gear and guns that is cool but not required. When it comes cache raiding time pants the Mrs said you had to stop wearing, a ratty wool sweater from Goodwill, a Mora knife and a Maverick 88 12 gauge will be awesome to have.

Anyway I cannot think of anything else to say and am bored of writing so I will wrap this up. As always your input is welcome.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Thoughts For Today

-Do something you do not want to do or need to do today but that should get done. Sweep a floor, cook a couple days of nutritious lunches so you aren't  eating expensive junk, clean up that stuff which has accumulated on any flat surface in the house. You could apply this to preparedness also. Get to doing things.

- Worry about stuff you can control. Sure it's good to know about inflation or whatever political stuff, like bad laws, is going on but after voicing your opinion move to productive stuff.

You can affect the amount of stored food, precious metals, etc all on inventory.

-You can pay down debt and decrease spending on unnecessary luxuries. Get to a healthy financial place then save in whatever form(s) make the most sense to you.

-You can get quality realistic training from serious professionals like John and K. For those who say they cannot afford training do the math on how much money is spent on luxuries like cable tv, fancy cell phones, eating out, tobacco, booze, mochawhackachino's, etc and for most a class in 2-6 months is very realistic. Those on the tightest budgets can at least hit an Appleseed.

-If you haven't started already at least grow something this year. Even some herbs in a window sill are a start. Learn to do this now when your life is not depending on it.

-Game of Thrones is awesome. I'm getting caught up (mid season 2 now) and it is ridiculous.

-While glad to be over the hump it's been too long of a week for today to be Wednesday. This guy needs a 4 day weekend.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Cyprus Preps

Ferfal did a great post on the topic. Seeing as he has actually lived through an economic collapse it's worth listening to him. It goes something like this:
-Basic Preps: Food, medical, guns, ammo, etc
-Cash in hand
-Silver and Gold
-A safe or two
-Offshore banking. I'm not so sure on this one but if you have no debt, plenty of preps and PM's as well as a decent paid off home/ retreat and still have enough extra money to merit the hassle look into it. Here is the video if you have 20 minutes to spare.
I would add that you should take care of medical/ dental stuff that you've been putting off as well as vehicle repairs, new tires, etc all. Get stuff you know is going to have to happen done now while the cost is still sane.

As Thomas Sowell noted this is arguably happening now in the US via inflation. It took me a long time to really understand inflation. Reading The Alpha Strategy and "Economics in One Lesson" let me understand inflation for the sinister regressive tax that it truly is.

We could debate how bad things are going to get in the US or the probability of certain results. The bottom line is that something less than optimal will certainly happen and something bad is probably going to happen. Start doing something about it while you still can. 

Friday, April 5, 2013

Death Squads, What Collapse Looks Like and Things To Do Now

Well it looks like the friendly (snark) local Aryan Brotherhood offed that DA and his wife, as well as the Colorado prison department guy in Colorado and probably the ADA from Texas. As AM noted recently Assistant Attorney Jay Hileman stepped down from prosecuting an Aryan Brotherhood case. Part of me says the dude should man up and do the job Texas is paying him to but on the other hand I can see his perspective. The guy took the job to bridge into something else and now all of a sudden some crazy honkeys are killing folks in the exact situation he was in. As AM noted this is bad.

I do not know what will happen. It is worth noting this is how death squads come to be. Some group either Criminal or Revolutionary in nature (yes there could be others but lets keep it simple)  decides to start hitting back at the cops and or soldiers (for the sake of flow I will just say cops from here on). The cops decide that it sucks when they are being attacked and killed. In small to medium sized groups they decide to do something about it. Given that they are the cops who have significant discretion about which cases to pursue and where to pursue them, especially with politically marginalized people, the odds of getting caught are about zero. Cops know who the bad guys are, who their friends are and where they hang out. Maybe they go all Vick Mackey and bend some rules, slap some folks around for info or whatever; or they might go strait to 'black sight prisons, torture and summary executions and shallow graves. In the big picture it doesn't really matter because it is bad.

Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Actions by angry groups of armed men are typically violent. Once the pro regime death squads get going the anti regime (criminal or revolutionary) death squads are sure to follow, if they do not exist already. The tit for tat spiral goes into full effect. The end result is Iraq from 2006-2010ish, the dirty wars in South America or Mexico right now. For those who are not up on their current history that means very bad. Tons of people getting killed or just vanishing. Some are legit players in the conflict but many, of not most, are normal folks ratted out for personal reasons or just at the wrong place during the wrong time.

This is the kind of thing that happens with the mob in Italy or tribal groups in Iraq during the bad years. It leads to a paralyzed system in the short term due to turnover. Eventually folks get into these positions who are not inclined to prosecute these cases unless it's a slam dunk (like caught on live TV and the guy says his name out loud) or maybe even not at all. It would be difficult to overstate the impact this sort of thing has on rule of law.

Along other lines (well except mooching off AM for material;) we need to know that collapses do not typically happen in a day. Rome wasn't going great then all of a sudden those pesky Germanic Hordes showed up. One could make a legitimate argument that right now is what collapse looks like.

What can we do? Long term shelf stable food and dehydrated emergency food are good options. Ammo and precious metals are always good ideas.  A quality water filter is essential. All old hat.

Today I had a couple of cavities filled. Not so long ago I went to the eye doctor to get a couple extra sets of glasses. Wifey has done or is about to do these things. We make sure the kids stay current on all their stuff too. Typically these are things that get put off or delayed when money gets tight, which it is now for about everybody. Best case you still have a job but magical price increases that are clearly not  inflation are decreasing purchasing power.

I urge you to take care of this stuff ASAP. A tooth that you've been putting off getting fixed would be a real problem if things go all Argentina on us. Ditto for needing a spare set of spectacles. If your family need medicine it would be prudent to stock some. Yes it costs money, sometimes a lot of money. However I can't see medical/ dental/ optometry care getting cheaper, more available or better in the next couple years. Quite frankly I suspect the opposite is going to happen. In other words that filling or new pair of glasses you are putting off now will be even less affordable in a year. They may just plain be out of the reach of many folks who are currently in the middle class.

Along the health and fitness effort line work on getting into shape. Also slowly work to make your addictions into luxuries. In other words decrease frequency and consumption such that if you need to stop using them it is not a big deal. Do this a bit at a time and it doesn't suck that bad. I'm down to 2 cups of coffee a day and more days without beer than with so it can be done. It's not fun but sure beats needing to quit these things because you do not have and can not get them during an already stressful situation.

 That covered a lot of ground but hopefully everyone got something out of it.Get moving and do something.


Sunday, March 24, 2013

Surviving Real Life

Commander Zero wrote a post that inspired this. A whole lot of real life happens between crazy regional events, let alone larger national and world ones. Folks get so caught up in stocking up on beans, bullets and band aids that they can forget about more practical things.

We have raided the emergency fund more times than I can recall. Car repairs are the usual culprit but unexpected bills, unforeseen expenses and the occasional sudden trip home have all had their turns. Conversely we have yet to NEED stored food. Sure it has been nice to have an extra bag/ box/ can of whatever to finish a recipe or for those times you decide to deviate from the weeks meal plan. However nothing has happened to us that the typical couple days worth of food in an average household would not cover.

We have had several times somebody ended up needing significant medical care. Without insurance we would have been financially ruined. Conversely while we can all agree guns are comforting the need to have them is rare. Those needs are amply covered by basic guns. One can forgo an expensive AR-15 or precision rifle with almost no risk of it coming back to bite them.

I'm not saying you should stop storing emergency food or sell those politically incorrect guns. What I am  saying is that in addition to those fun survivalist things you need to have an emergency fund and a realistic plan for inevitable medical problems. These are far more likely to save your behind than a pantry full of food and an AK-47.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Economic Crack Binge and Coming Effects

The best comparison to our countries economic situation and coming problems I can think of is Charlie Sheen. Our problems with massive deficits are like Charlies problem with crack cocaine and alcohol. Lets call derivatives the Charlie equivalent of prostitutes/ porn stars.

Now I cannot predict the specifics of Charlie Sheen's next breakdown/ meltdown/ fail. I can however confidently say 100% that there will be one. Maybe he will shoot his celebrity fiance, hold a knife to the wife's neck at Christmas dinner, manage to mess up staring in the top rated sitcom on tv, who knows. (These are all things Charlie has actually done;)

 Disturbingly our upcoming economic problem is like Charlies upcoming breakdown/ meltdown/ fail. Just maybe we will manage to kick the proverbial can a ways down the road. Maybe it will be 70's era stagflation. Could be the standard South American currency devaluation/ hyperinflation or an all out Argentina like economic collapse. The old adage that big powerful countries do not go broke, they go to war (a la Germany) could prove accurate again. Maybe a combination of crumbling infrastructure and weakened defense makes an attractive time for an old enemy to attack or just use an EMP to keep us distracted internally. Maybe one of the dreaded black swans pops up in the time we are able to handle it the least.

What can we do about this? Well the usual advice to buy bullets, silver , gold and emergency food is always sound. Things like water filters might become important as infrastructure crumbles or breaks and standards just plain drop. (Yes that is a lot of linkeage in a paragraph. Got to keep the bill payers happy.)

Being as healthy as possible is prudent. Get fit, take care of lingering issues you may have, go to the dentist, order a couple spare sets of glasses and stock extra medication.

Buy food. Yes it is getting more expensive but basic staple food, even the long term stable stuff, is still a great deal. Right now food is ridiculously cheap by historic percentage of income. Most people here can probably make some choices to put a few bucks into food and fill up the pantry.

Learn skills. Specifically learn skills that will let you do things yourself instead of paying somebody else to do them.

Get ready to protect yourself. Things aren't getting better. Have realistic and sustainable (if it's not comfortable you will not do it) plans to carry weapons while still going through your normal life.

Most of these things are not new. In fact they are generally the same stuff I talk about. Best get too them before they are more expensive and harder to do.
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