Archive for April, 2015

Customizing Food Storage to Your Family’s Needs

Thursday, April 30th, 2015

This is a guest contribution by Lee Flynn. Lee Flynn is from the Greater Salt Lake area and grew up in a family where everything they did was outdoors. Lee was raised with survival and preparedness as a way of life. After graduating from college, he began a survival course teaching basic survival knowledge and preparedness advice and has been doing this now for 10 years.

food storage basicsNow that you’ve made the decision to create a food storage system based on your family’s needs, the first step is to determine where you’ll put it. You may only have enough space to store a few weeks’ worth of surplus food if you’re short on space. This is the time to get creative when it comes to building your emergency food storage. Whether you live in a house, condo, or apartment, every bit of available space has the potential to serve as a place to store extra food.

Food Storage Tips

Store your emergency food in a space that gets a limited amount of light and generally stays anywhere between 50 – 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Pantries, cupboards, or basements work great. Some families store surplus food in their crawl space under their home, provided the food is properly sealed and contained.

As long as food isn’t stored in extra warm temperatures or kept near hot pipes or furnaces, it probably won’t spoil. However, be sure to always check the expiration date on your storage food prior to eating it since it could possibly be bad. Many people also like to store food in a basement freezer chest with a variety of frozen foods as well.

What Kinds of Foods Should Families Store?

While you’re trying to figure out what kinds of foods to store, stop and consider what types of foods both you and your family actually like to eat. Don’t buy things you know your kids won’t touch. In order to build an effective food storage supply, stockpile the foods you’ll actually eat since you’ll be rotating your food supply anyway. Also, if you’re not accustomed to eating a particular food, you may find yourself with some unpleasant digestive issues in the end.

Here are some ideas for food staples that many people choose to stockpile in their emergency food supply. Again, consider the tastes of your family along with any special diets anyone may need to follow and adjust your supply accordingly.

Canned Vegetables and Fruits

Several canned vegetables and fruits are not only full of healthy vitamins and minerals, but they have a shelf life of at least three years.

Beans and Legumes

Dried navy beans, kidney beans, great northern beans, and a number of legumes can last up to 20 years if properly stored and they’re an excellent source of protein as well. Cook them and simply eat them plain, or put them in tasty homemade soups or other recipes.

Iodized Salt

Most people don’t realize the importance of salt. Your body needs the iodine found in salt in order to survive. Therefore, if you want to create a long-term food supply, put iodized salt on your list.

Dried Produce

In many cases, dehydrated fruits and vegetables last longer on the shelf than several bottled or canned versions. A few produce items aren’t good for drying, but foods like peas, apricots, carrots, bananas, apples, and onions work especially well for dehydration.

Water

It’s obvious you need water in your food storage. Ideally, your water should be stored in large polycarbonate barrels and kept in a cool, dark area. Figure one gallon per day per person; one-half gallon to drink, and the other half for hygiene and cooking. Also, the water inside your hot water heater can be put to use as well. Just be sure you have a quality water kit or purification tablets to ensure it’s usable enough for cooking and/or drinking if necessary.

Powdered Milk

If you want to use powdered milk in your back-up food supply, make sure it’s never exposed to any moisture and keep it cool and dry. Stored properly, powdered milk can last on the shelf as long as 18 – 24 months.

Rice

Not only is rice an excellent of source of energy for your body, it’s fairly inexpensive and makes an excellent staple to have on hand for various recipes or just plain. Rice can last 8 – 10 years on the shelf if it’s properly stored.

Your emergency home food storage supply can provide both you and your family with great peace of mind and satisfaction knowing your food requirements are met in case you ever need them in the face of an emergency. It also helps financially as well. With a solid plan, you can start building your food storage as soon as today, which will enable you to be fully prepared in those unfortunate times of economic or personal instability.

How to Make Char Cloth Indoors

Saturday, April 11th, 2015

If there were one fire-making skill I’d recommend all preppers get good at it would probably be making fire from char cloth.

It’s a great skill for truly learning and understanding how to build a fire since it prevents fire-making “laziness” — something we can easily develop in the days of lighters and matches — since it forces you to collect and use only good materials and have your skills down pat.

In addition, these skills will also help you easily translate to getting a fire going from a primitive bow-drill, hand-drill or any other friction-fire method.

And finally, if the time ever came where you really needed to get a fire going, and you had an easier fire-starting tool like a lighter (which you should carry with you anyways), it will be that much simpler.

With that long winded intro, how do you go about making charcloth anyways?

Well, that’s the focus of this post and video.

The process is super simple but first let’s start with getting some ingredients:

What You’ll Need:

  • Some metal or tin container: This could be an Altoids tin, a chew tin, or like I use an old pellet tin from my pellet gun.
  • Some plant-based material: Cotton balls, cotton makeup remover pads, even cut up pieces from an old cotton t-shirt will work great. Other materials like flax, hemp, and burlap are also great.
  • A heat source: This heat source is typically an open fire but it can also be your outdoor grill or even your indoor stove top if you need to (for which I”ll explain how to minimize the smoke so your significant other doesn’t kill you)

How to Make Charcloth

Making charcloth is a very simple process. If you’d prefer a visual demonstration, be sure to check out my video on making char cloth here:

Here’s the written description of the process:

Step 1: Step one is just to prepare your heat source if necessary. If this is an open flame than make sure it has burned down to a decent amount of coals for a coal bed. Other wise you can just use your grill or stove.

Step 2: Punch a hole in the top cover of the tin with a small nail

Step 3: Fill your tin with your cotton (or other) material and cover it up.

Step 4: Place your tin on top of the heat source

Step 5: After placing your tin on the heat source you’ll notice smoke starting to come out of the top hole. This smoke will continue until it stops at which time you’ll know the charcloth is complete.

How to Make Charcloth Indoors (without getting in trouble)

Making it indoors is the same process as above but instead of letting the smoke just bellow out of the hole and filling your kitchen and home, you can light the smoke with a flame. It will stay lit much like a candle. When that flame goes out, your charcoal is complete.

How to Make Rope from a Trash Bag [Video]

Thursday, April 2nd, 2015
This post is sponsored by Survival Hunting The Only Complete End-To-End Survival Hunting Course Designed Specifically For Preppers Like You, Where You’ll Uncover How To Easily Secure An Abundance Of Game From The Field, Onto Your Plate, And Into Your Long-Term Storage

This video is a follow up to the previous blog post on 18 Bug-Out Uses for a Trash Bag.

In the following video I demonstrate how you can make a very strong and functional piece of rope from one or more trash bags.

How to Make Rope from a Trash Bag