Showing posts with label food storage. Show all posts
Showing posts with label food storage. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Food During Out of Town Moves and Fringe Benefits of Stocking Supplies

Someone asked about what I do with stored food during moves. The fridge/ freezer stuff is easy it gets eaten, given away or tossed. The long term shelf stable stuff like 5 gallon buckets are easy, it sucks but you move them. That might not work for an international move but the effort and cost to buy then sell a ton or two of food multiple times is unpleasant. The mid range pantry stuff (rice, canned goods, boxed stuff, etc) is a bit more complicated. I try to eat up as much as I can and move as much of the rest as I can.

Military movers will take unopened shelf stable stuff (CONUS). I wouldn't suggest taking anything fragile (glass jars, etc) but cans and buckets are fine.

[Do note that if you are pushing the limit this sort of food is heavy and busting your weight allowance is expensive. I would not be moving a dozen cases of canned food and a ton of rice n beans if we were anywhere close to the limit. For lower enlisted folks weight allowances are pretty low so this probably be a good plan. The amount of food I will move is probably a third or half a lower enlisted guys total weight allowance. One of the many places where the military is not fair.]

Right now I am in the eating it up phase. However since I had food for 4 and there is 1 of me it isn't going great. I'll probably end up taking some stuff to good will or giving it away. Losing a few hundred bucks of food every couple years is a cost of being a survivalist in the military. One of the many places where that is a hassle. Such is life.

Also moving my ammo stash sucks.  Get a bit of .308/7.62x51, decent stash of 5.56 and 9mm, a bunch of 7.62x39 and 12 gauge and it adds up fast. Ammo I have to haul myself which is a hassle.

I am open to input here but as I've done this a couple times so odds are high my plan is about solidified.

I am also trying to work through some other stores such as gasoline before the trip.

A fringe benefit of this stuff is for the last 2 weeks my grocery bill has been very low. Until I leave I will only be buying milk and fresh fruit/ veggies at the store so the bill will be even lower. Also started using up the gasoline. So my bills for fuel and food are going to be very low for awhile. A happy accident as finances are in a state of flux.

I also realized this could be a fringe benefit of preparedness. If you have a months food and gas stashed that means you could live off stores and put cash to stuff you definitely have to pay for like say rent and utilities. In a personal SHTF this would let you stretch existing cash reserves to keep things going longer. Of course you would be depleting stores which would either need to be replaced or your preparedness level would drop. Options are a good thing.

So stocking up on food, fuel, etc all has a variety of benefits. You should do that.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Shelf Stable Food Inventory

Since I have been the crazy survivalist who buys a bunch of food and she does most of the cooking things have gotten pretty crazy in our kitchen.  Also since this involved me putting things (she wasn't thrilled about me getting in the first place) into her area (the kitchen) it was sort of a delicate matter. I kind of put things where they could fit easily and not cause an issue instead of where they might make the most sense. Essentially I'm a crazy jerk who shoved a bunch of stuff in every nook and cranny of the kitchen. As we've been down in Louisiana for awhile the problem has been compounding. Wifey inventoried the majority of our shelf stable food and totally reorganized the food in the kitchen. It was a really cool thing she did to help with my interests and our preparedness efforts.

To close out the inventory I need to do the buckets of food and someone will end up doing an inventory of some canned goods that are in the other part of the kitchen.

The intent is to maintain a running inventory and keep things organized. I would like to put it on a spreadsheet with column's for goal (I want to figure out a methodology for stocking specific amounts of stuff instead of just buying arbitrary amounts.), on hand and to mark when things get used to replace them.

Not surprisingly due to the lack of good organization, inventories or a central plan efforts were a bit uneven.

What we have plenty, some might even say too much, of:
Peanut Butter
Tin Foil
Coffee filters
Canned corn
Coctail sauce
BBQ Sauce

We need:
Dry beans other than black beans-We have a bunch in buckets but don't use it for normal stuff.
White vinegar x2 gal
Pasta (other than spaghetti) about 20 pounds
Red sauce- About 20 cans.
Single serving pouch sides- Rice- O Roni, that type of pasta stuff, etc.- 5 or 7
Jam/ Jelly x3
Iodized salt x6
Salsa x1

Since Wifey spent all day reorganizing this stuff in the kitchen the prep budget ordered pizza for dinner.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

A Few Months Without Power In Your Current Location

Pastor Joe Fox put out another excellent video. It has a lot of interesting thoughts on his last 2 years of living off grid. Also when he is honest and mentions propane being the 'dirty little off grid secret' as well as lamp oil, batteries and of course gas. Anyway that is not the point that caught my interest. Pastor Joe said something to the effect of " some point the grid is going to go down, most of you are not going to 'bug out' but will instead stay where you are. Think of the things you would want to live for a few months without power." That stuck in my head. Of course I got to thinking.

-Another 55 gallon water barrel for storage along with 3 more 5 gallon jugs.

-A rainwater cachment system.

-Three more 5 gallon propane tanks. Also a couple dozen of those little green propane tanks.

-More 92 octane non ethanol gas. (I plan to fill up all my cans with it when I rotate them.) Another 6 5 gal cans would be perfect.

-10 gallons of kerosene.

-A case of oil for various lubrication needs.

-Lots of lamp wicks.

-Ancillary chainsaw stuff. Lots of 2 cycle and bar oil, spark plugs, a spare chain, sharpening stuff, chaps.

-About a hundred dollars worth of eneloop rechargeable batteries (in addition to what we have now).

-The only real expensive item (though the total cost is adding up fast) is a Goal Zero 32201 Boulder 30M Solar Panel  and a more robust battery setup probably also by Goal 0. Something like the Goal Zero 23000 Yeti 400 Solar Generator

-Maybe a serious antenna set up for my Grundig 350dl. If I was relying on it for regular news and needed to reach further, more consistently, it would be handy.

-A better grinder.

-A dutch oven. 

-Condiments, particularly stuff that goes with bread, rice and beans. Stuff like cheese and butter would be great also.

-100 pounds more each salt, sugar, and oatmeal.

-200 pounds each of rice, beans and wheat.

-3 cases each of chili, stew and peanut butter.

-About a dozen cases of canned fruit.

-Several things of both kid and adult multi vitamins.

-250 pounds of chicken food. A metal trash can or two to store it in.

-250 pounds of dog food. A metal trash can or two to store it in.

-A full spool of 550 cord.

-Various structural repair stuff: screen material to fix screens, a couple (above what I've got) rolls of clear plastic, a couple (above what I've got) 10x10 tarps, a couple packages each of small and large zip ties, 3 rolls of duct tape/ 100 mph tape, 4 rolls of generic/ bailing wire, 5 pounds of various screws, 10 pounds of various nails. If I could conveniently find the space about 4 sheets 4x8ish of 3/4 inch ply wood would be nice.

-Various shoe/ clothing repair stuff: Some shoe laces, a couple dozen spools off various thread, 2x shoe glue, some mink oil,  a few yards each of cotton, denim and flannel.

-A pick axe.

-A spare shovel.

-Another machete.

-Another knife sharpening set.

-A gallon of mineral oil.

-Chimney cleaning stuff.

-4x FRS radios.

-More various hygiene stuff. Soap, shampoo, conditioner, feminine stuff, etc

-A few boxes of band aid's. They are so handy and my kids love em.

-A stash of antibiotics.

-You could note a lack of gun and ammo stuff in this post. Don't get me wrong in this situation I would like to have 500 rounds of .38 special, 500 rounds of .308, a thousand rounds of 12 gauge split between #4, buckshot and slugs plus another case each of 9mm and 5.56. That being said I am sitting on a pretty decent stash of ammo. Honestly aside from .22lr and small game shot for hunting and just maybe a rifle round or two for a deer or hog I do not see going through much ammo. Sure fights could happen but if I dip a notable fraction into my stores things are going very badly and I am realistic enough to know a guy is only likely to win so many fights, especially when medical attention is lacking.

-As to guns I would really like to have an AR pistol with a 10.5-11in barrel. About when the grid dropped a person might just say to heck with it and put a real buttstock on one but the sig arm brace's largely negate the issue. The concept of use would be as a bedside CQB gun and general PDW.

Beyond that we are pretty OK in terms of firepower. We could trade/ loan/ give some guns out if needed and still exceed our core needs by a good margin. 

There are probably some other things but none of them really come to mind. I am going to weigh this exercise very heavily in my 2015 New Years Resolutions.


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Questions in My Head

1) 'Scout Mounting' a rifle scope. Presuming we are not talking about a weapon whose unique characteristics (utilizes stripper clips, Bolt gun with strait bolt you do not want to bend, M1 Garand, pre 'AE' Winchester 30-30, etc) what is the train of though behind forward mounting a magnified optic in this fashion? Pro's? Con's? Suitable for some element of precision at intermediate ranges (out to 600m or so)?

For goodness sake do not mention that Jeff Cooper liked it as a reason to do this. Sir Edmund Hillary was a heck of a mountaineer but times have changed and so has equipment. Let's stick to practical reasons and avoid dogmatic circular thinking. 

2) What are your thoughts on storing 5 gallon type buckets of food on their side? In my effort store our bulk type food within the climate controlled portion of our dwelling it occurred to me I would have a lot more options for buckets if they could be stored on their sides (vs standing up). Has anyone tried this?

Thanks in advance.

Monday, April 28, 2014

What Did You Do To Prepare This Week?

I got back into the gym which was good. Work has been so chaotic I haven't really been able to keep a schedule. Anyway now that things have normalized I am getting back to it.

Got my HPG Mountain Serape.

Got a Survival Solutions OPSEC Poncho.

Got a bunch of freeze dried and staple type foods. Also I organized a bunch of stuff from previous orders that had been piling up. Found space for it all which means I can order some more as finances allow.

Tried to make a deal on a single shot 12 gauge. I have been wanting one for awhile but sadly the guy flaked out.

Tested out my solar setup a bit. Almost to the point where I am ready to write about it.

What did you do to prepare this week?

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Camping Survival Sale Last Chance!!

Last day! Camping Survival's Mountain House storage food sale ends today, December 8th, 2013. They are offering 25% off cases of #10 cans, 25% off cases of pouches and 15% off buckets. Please note the sale is for full cases only. While they are only selling on hand stock, they did order plenty ahead of time. Take advantage of the deal to get squared away.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Quote of the Day Wifey on Stocking Household Items

"I will conceed that sometimes it is helpful to have you. For example I forgot to buy any tin foil for thanksgiving but I have this crazy husband who stockpiles S&*T. Also there are times you go to the field that I do not go shopping for weeks."


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

A Not So Cool Dry Place For Storing Food and Ammo

As we get settled in I'm trying to figure out how everything will work. We have lots of storage space in the garage. The downside is that it seems to regularly reach temperatures of eleven million degrees. Moving significant amounts of stuff into the house, which lacks a dedicated space for it would cause family WWIII.

The stuff I am concerned about storing is ammo in ammo cans and long term type food.

My initial observation is that I need to get the high garage temps figured out. Think I am going to insulate (with the foam panel stuff) the garage door. It seems to be a huge heat sink. Beyond that cooling the garage down gets expensive fast.

From my initial research I can't see much of an impact of temps outside of normal household 70ish or basement 65 being a big issue for ammo. I'm open to any input on that.

As to food I think that is another matter. Simply put that hotter temps drastically reduce shelf life.

Has anyone else faced this problem? What were your conclusions? What action did you take?

Monday, July 8, 2013

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, June 13, 2013

Night Vision Prioritization

Anonymous Commander_Zero said...
First off, congrats on what is probably the most expensive preparedness acquisition short of a dedicated BOV or retreat.

This is kind of interesting from a philosophical, logistics, and mathematical standpoint.

Keep in mind, Im not being critical, Im just curious about your reasoning: you say that the laser/NVD combo is handy but if a person doesnt have one they arent doomed to failure. But you also say that they arent here's my question - this kit *seems* like it is a nice-to-have-but-not-essential bit of gear; how did you rationalize its purchase when there might have been other items that were likely to see more usage in a crisis? (Although I admit that I have no idea what your level of preparedness is, for all I know you may have everything else and this was the cherry on the top.)

I'd love to have a laser/NVD combo but I'd probably wind up sinking the money into something else that *I* think is more likely to be necessary for my particular situation...more food, more metals, more armour, BOV, generator & fuel, etc, etc.

Keep in mind, please...Im not being judgemental, I'm just wondering how you arrived at this big-ticket purchase vs. other, less expensive, preps that may have been on your list.

Ryan here:  Thanks. This is a complicated and worthwhile question so I will address it here on the main page.

I mentioned that folks should not feel bad if this sort of setup is out of their reach for a couple reasons. First there isn't any point in worrying about things you cannot make happen. I do not have a super duper John Rourke retreat, cannot afford it now and probably never will, so there is no point in stressing it. In the unlikely event I need said super retreat I'm hosed so no point in stressing it. Along these lines I try to keep things here suited to folks of all income/ preparedness funding levels so unless it is absolutely the case I avoid the "you are doomed without this gear" discussion. Second A person does not NEED night vision, there are many scenarios where it would not even come up. However at the same time one does not really NEED an AR-15, a Glock 17, a high end precision rifle, a solar setup, a generator, etc, etc. All we NEED is food, potable water and enough shelter to not die of exposure. Like a lot of things night vision falls into the 'nice to have' category.
So here's my question - this kit *seems* like it is a nice-to-have-but-not-essential bit of gear; how did you rationalize its purchase when there might have been other items that were likely to see more usage in a crisis? 

To answer this first I will talk about how things worked in this particular situation. As to how I ended up with a PVS-14. I spent a year in Afghanistan. During that time my personal money and preparedness money accumulated in the bank leaving me with a wad of cash. I wanted to make a preparedness purchase of some type. It came down to a NOD, a long list of $100-$400 items or a whole bunch of long term storage food.

I liked the idea of a NOD for the obvious advantages it offers. The long list of stuff would be nice but I can make those sort of purchases over time while large amounts of cash are hard to come by. A major food purchase all at once didn't make a ton of sense to me as it would (albeit a long time from now) go bad all at once. On the other hand if I made the same purchases over 3-4 years I would have a better chance at orderly rotation and replacement with fresh stock. Also like the list of various stuff I can buy food in smaller increments that better fit into our normal budget. Right or wrong that is how I ended up with the NOD.

As to the laser I sold a rifle and my ACOG (which was replaced by a much more affordable yet still very nice Burris MTAC) to pay for it. So it was more of a shifting of resources within the greater defense/ gun arena than an influx of new money.

As to the philosophy and prioritization. In no particular order I will give some circumstances and thoughts that guided my decision:

-I intentionally prioritized items that could potentially be targeted by some sort of legislation or administrative fiat. Buckets of rice/ wheat/ beans, solar panels and 1978 F250 4x4's are not getting restricted any time soon but stuff like body armor and night vision very well could. Really it is more vulnerable than firearms as there is not any Constitutional protection for these items.

-We move a lot and not across town. This makes compact items that are easy to move imminently more practical for us. A whole lot easier to stick a NOD in a bag then make an additional cross country trip driving 55 in our old F250 13 mpg 'BOV'.

-It is easy to go down the dozen $100-$300 items vs one big one (in this case NOD+laser) rabbit hole. I thought about it a lot. Two things came to mind. First it is easier for me to work those various smaller items into our normal budget. (I've been knocking them off the list) Second when I really thought about it honestly the vast majority of them did not actually offer a new capability. Maybe something a bit lighter, more comfortable, newer, shinier, more tacticool, etc which is all great but those are IMO lower priorities than new capabilities.

 - I think it is important to consider if you are building a system to fight, giving yourself the maximum advantage possible, or collecting guns. A person who is building a fighting setup will get a good set of personal weapons as well as a chest rig/ battle belt/ whatever, body armor and night vision if they can afford it and maybe pick up some more guns later. A person collecting guns will probably have a whole bunch of guns and various gear but quite possibly no body armor and certainly no night vision. I am not saying either approach is right or wrong; what I am saying is to think honestly about your goals and if your actions makes sense to support said goals.

-As John Mosby said "NVGs, or to use the older term with which I am far more comfortable, NODs, are a force multiplier of equal or greater value than two or three extra riflemen, when used properly. If you have six rifles of your own, but no NODs, you’re &@cking yourself and your team. Remedy the situation.
- A lot of the cost issue is about perspective. I personally know a guy who has between 75 and 100k in guns (at pre panic prices) and that's not including mags, ammo or parts all of which he has a lot of too. This guy described body armor which runs $500 a pop as ruinously expensive. He also did not have any night vision. By selling a few guns guns he could get body armor for all 4 members of the family and 2 NODs with IR lasers to match. He probably would not even notice the few guns that would need to be sold to pay for this stuff if they were missing. However they would be in a much better place if something actually happened. 

-If one can't afford the rough price tag of modern (Gen3) type night vision and a laser that is one thing but continuing gun collecting instead of buying the other fighting gear that one should have is IMO a high degree of foolishness if the goal is defending them self and their loved ones. At best one should consider whether they want to collect guns or prepare to fight people.

I think this gives some insight to why I have made the decision to get into the NOD game. If we were in a fixed normal guy who lives in one place type situation I might have chosen differently but probably not. Anyway I cannot think of anything else to say so it's time to wrap this up.

As always your thoughts are appreciated.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Beans and Rice? A Note From Nuvona Premium Foods

I watched a video the other day of a group of "preppers" who had purchased a great deal of beans and rice to put up as "long-term food storage" in case of ... well, whatever they are worried about.

I thought to myself that this was not a bad idea but I wonder how long it will take to get tired of beans and rice?

If you have kids my guess is it wont take long. I know it wouldn't take long for me.

Personally I had doubts about the methods they were using to store the stuff and quite frankly it occurred to me that these folks were literally betting their lives that their somewhat ill-conceived plan was actually going to work.

I like the idea of an emergency foods supply, but the beans and rice thing would not be my first choice.

My first choice would be the freeze-dried / dehydrated foods that are professionally packed and tested tot have a very long shelf like.

Not only will it be a much greater variety and way more tasty... but the "comfort" factor of having actual food in a time of emergency is  priceless!

I found a relatively new company making long-term food storage and  they are up on all the recent health info and state-of-the-art  packaging techniques that modern food storage can provide.

The foods are certified GMO free, they have no trans fats, MSG or high fructose corn syrup. They are low in sodium and actually use Ghirardelli chocolate in their chocolate milk!

Each pouch is flushed with Nitrogen and every one contains an oxygen absorber to. This is about the best, modern food storage out there and quite frankly, given the high quality the prices are amazingly low.

These prices compare with some food storage companies whose quality does not even come close. Check out the new sample kits they just launched and let me know what you think .

Nuvona Premium Foods

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

A Note from Camping Survival

Good morning,

The good folks from Camping Survival recently traveled to Ohio a few weeks ago and interviewed Chuck Fenwick of Medical Corps, the manufacturer of our KIO3 potassium iodate tabs. They made a video of the interview and while it's long, We are very excited as it came out great and is jam packed with terrific info. Here it is. Please spread the word as this is hot!

Also, tomorrow May 15, is the last day of our Mountain House freeze dried foods sale.  Last day to get these massively discounted priced and we still have tons of stock and are shipping out quickly.

-Camping Survival

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Food Adding Up- Why Consistency Matters

Some food showed up the other day. I put it away with the rest of our long term storage food. Most of it's staples but there are some snacks and desert items also.

Since being here in Arizona food storage has been a primary goal. Accordingly we started putting some money ($150 a month) towards it. Man the food is really adding up. We are definitely getting somewhere in terms of meeting our food storage goals. Being consistent is why this is going so well. Sometimes more money goes in but never less. Over time it adds up.

Be consistent.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Funny Video, Tab Clearing and Random Stuff

I saw this video today. It was quite amusing. You can probably guess who it pokes fun at. I'm ambivalent about that piece but it's still quite funny. I fought tigers.

Undeniable proof that The Walking Dead and Toy Story have the exact same plot.

Vigilante's seize town in Mexico.

How to make Pemmican.

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.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Solar Cooking, Remington 870 vs Mossberg 500 and Other Stuff

Getting used to cooking on the Sun Oven is definitely a priority of mine. The weather here is very cooperative and not a lot was going on earlier today so I gave it another go. Cooked up some pinto beans with the usual spices and a bit of bacon. Used canned beans and normal bacon but you could easily do the same thing with canned dried pinto beans and canned bacon. Got the Sun Oven set up and it started heating up like crazy. In a couple minutes it was over 200 and in 20 minutes or so it was over 300. In 2 hours I figured the beans were probably done. They turned out really good.

The sun oven cooks sort of like a combination of a normal oven and a crock pot. The time is a bit closer to an oven because the temp is higher bit it retains moisture like a crock pot. The combination is pretty awesome actually. Getting it positioned so the sun is hitting as much of the inside as possible and slightly ahead of the sun (so it's going to be in the sun for awhile) takes a little bit of practice. Checking it every 30 minutes or so and adjusting about every other time seems to do the trick. I have heard of folks setting up an oven aimed to catch the mid day- afternoon heat then leaving for work to come home to a hot dinner. That seems like a pretty cool thing to be able to do. I am going to work on doing that  over the coming weeks. Cooking for free and building skills is pretty cool.

As we have been asking shotgun related questions and specifically talking Project 870 the other logical option the Mossberg 500 series has come up. Folks have mentioned them and it's time to discuss the Mossberg as well as some compare and contrast between the two. (Note I'm not going to talk the Mossberg 590 separately. They are really more of a nicer M500 variant than a new gun IMO. A fine gun but if we talked every variant of both guns this would be a 10k word post.)

Bottom line up front: Both are good guns so get whichever you prefer.

Remington 870 Positives:
-Probably the most common pump shotgun in circulation. Basically the same gun has been made since the 1950's. 
-Pretty much the standard shotgun for police and firearms professionals. This might be a marketing/ sales success thing, I don't know. In any case when the vast majority of serious users choose one option it is  worth paying attention to.
-Very adaptable with all manner of parts options including those by duty grade type makers.
-Excellent fit and smooth action.

Remington 870 Downsides:
Controls in less than ideal locations.
On the basic Express Model some issues can come up with the finish. (I will talk 870 variants another time)

Mossberg 500 Positves:
-Excellent controls with the safety and pump release (probablyy not the right technical term) in the right locations.
-Excellent value. Typically a Mossberg 500 will be $50-75 cheaper than a comparably set up Remington 870.

Mossberg 500 Downsides:
-Rougher fitting of parts.
-Limited availability of duty grade type accessories. Lots of folks make junk that can be bolted onto the Mossberg 500. Good stuff is harder to get than for an 870.

Conclusion: It is worth mentioning I did not discuss reliability or durability intentionally. That is because both of these guns are about as reliable and bomb proof as a gun can get. The damn things just last forever and don't break. They both have positives and negatives so folks have to think about what matters the most to them. Right now we only own the 870 series but that is more about parts/ accessories commonality than anything else. If a good deal on a Mossberg 500 came up I would snap it up. Hopefully this gives you some insight into how I look at these two shotguns. At the end of the day I believe either gun will serve you well.

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