Water: The essential element to survival and necessary in every emergency plan and emergency supplies kit.
Generally, commercially-sealed/bottled water does not go bad but depends on how it was processed. Water you have "bottled" yourself has a recommended maximum shelf life of 6 months for consumption. Unless water is known to be, or obviously, contaminated, don't throw water away in an emergency situation; it may still be possible to purify through distilling but it can be used for washing, watering edible/medicinal plants and other things.
Recommended water storage amounts are at least 1 gallon of [drinking and sanitation] water per day per person for a minimum of 3 days. More is better. Additional water should be considered for Pets and dehydrated foods to re-hydrate. Consider these things when calculating water storage needs.
Healthy Energy Drink Alternatives: Energy drinks are a wonderful thing to have on hand in the pantry, bug out bag, or even a first aid kit. There's a reason everyone from elite athletes to 8-year-old soccer players relies upon energy drinks and electrolyte drinks for vitality, energy, or replenishing nutrients lost while sweating. But commercial energy drinks are not good on the body, especially for those with a low immune system. Stock up on these few ingredients for the same beneficial effects as energy drinks: Good Ol' Coffee, Coconut Water, Apple Cider Vinegar, Green Tea, Organic Maple Syrup and Raw Honey. Heare are a few recepies:
Green Tea Coconut Water Cocktail + Apple Cider Vinegar + Apple Juice +Raw Honey
Green Tea + Raw Honey + Lemon
How to Make the Best Cup of Coffee: Of all the pleasures of camping, sipping a freshly brewed cup of joe around the morning fire is, as the old TV commercial hummed along, the best part of waking up. Watch the Video, Ya'll
1 - Warm the water in the pot.
2 - Add coffee grounds.
3 - Bring to a rolling boil (removes acid) for 2-3 minutes.
4 - Let it sit for 2 minutes.
5 - Add small amount of cold water which drops the grounds to the bottom of the pot.
6 - Let it sit for another minute then drink.
Benefits of Coffee & Alternative Sweetners: Coffee, the bitter nectar of life, the breakfast of champions, the fuel that sustains parents everywhere. It really is one of the best parts of life. It does more than warm the soul; there are many health benefits. But the things we add to it may be working against us. Read more.
Honey - Raw Honey, stored in a sealed container, can remain stable for decades, even centuries. Commercial Honey last about 2 years.
The Greeks had an uncanny ability when it came to healing the body, and the medicinal purposes of many of nature’s wonders and bees were at the top of the list when it came to natural wonders that also contained healing powers. Read more.
Read about Beekeeping: The Sweetest Hobby of all, in maintaining a renewable food source.
MREs (Meals Ready to Eat)
Civilian MRE Comparison
MREs on Amazon.com
Commercial Camping and Long Term Food (usually requires water to rehydrate)
There are a number of commercial Camping and Long Term Food companies. Research and sample to find the one(s) that will suit your needs and tastes. Often, these companies will provide free samples. The point is that a long-term food storage plan should be part of your overall emergency plan.
Top 10 Food Storage Companies Comparison
Mountain House Products Nutritional Information
Commercial Camping and Long Term Food on Amazon
|Freeze-Dried Eggs: My favorite breakfast includes eggs but, in a camping situation, they can be a space-consuming and messy situation. Several commercial freeze-dried egg options (above) are available but are costly. While a bit time-consuming, DIY Freeze-Dried Eggs Can be a Cheaper alternative. Just add water and heat.|
A hard cracker made from flour, salt, and water will last for years and through temperature extremes. Once taken on long sea voyages and carried by soldiers on long military campaigns it was called things like sea biscuit and sheet iron. Here's how to make your own.
- Form a dough by mixing, in a bowl, 3 cups of white [unbleached] flour, 2 teaspoons of salt and 1 cup of water.
- Evenly spread the dough, no more than half an inch thick, onto a cookie sheet.
- Use a knife to cut the dough into squares and a common nail or toothpick to make holes in each square.
- Bake each side for 30 minutes at 375 degrees. Cool & store (in ziplock bags).
Among all of the food preservation methods that are so popular with preppers, there is one little known method that stands out. It is by no means unheard of, but it isn’t nearly as popular as it used to be. I’m referring to the process of making pemmican.
- CONTENTS: 6 Pounds of low fat red meat, 2 pounds of meat fat (tallow) and 1/3 cup of blueberries.
- Dry and shred (in a blender) the meat and blueberries into a near-powder.
- Boil the tallow down into a liquid and mix in the shredded meat/blueberries.
- Spoon mixture into ziplock bags. Press the mixture while sealing to remove as much air as possible. Cool & store.
|Dehydrating Food: There's almost no easier way to preserve food than dehydrating. Used for thousands of years to help food last without refrigeration, drying is one of the fastest and least expensive ways to save food. It can also lighten the weight of foods made for camping and backpacking—saving your back and your wallet.|
|There are many foods that store well for a very long time, under the right conditions, however there are foods that do NOT store well for long term (1 year or more) storage. Do your research before considering a long term food storage plan.|
|It is not enough to just collect food and stick it away somewhere until it's needed. Knowing where and what it is, and when it will expire, is essential. A little planning ahead of time will save a lot of space and organizational problems in the future.|
Canned Food Shelf Life: Read This Before You Throw It Out: In normal times, it's difficult to argue taking the risk of making yourself sick if the upside will only amount to a couple of dollars saved. But what about when times are not normal? Would you be so quick to toss your "expired" can of green beans if calories were as scarce as water in a desert?
Canned foods can last up to 30+ years if stored properly. Canned meat 4-30 years, followed by canned vegetables 3-8 years, canned beans 3-6 years, canned fish 3-6 years, canned rice 2-6 years, canned broth 3-5 years, canned soups 2-4 years, and lastly canned fruits which only last around 1-2 years. However, their shelf life can be stretched even further if you store them correctly.
Here is a great resource to help you figure out how long products can actually last without refrigeration.