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.
For a less-bland drinking experience, add Essential Oils to the drinking water.
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
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.
How to Make Dandelion Wine, Step by Step
How to Make Moonshine
Wine, Liqueur, and Beer Recipes
[Not so] Quick Alcoholic Beverages
Raw Honey, stored in a sealed container, can remain stable for decades, even centuries. Commercial Honey last about 2 years. If it crystalizes, just warm it to liquify again.
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.
Civilian MRE Comparison
MREs on Amazon.com
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
Unlike some of my acquaintances who live to eat, I eat to live. I don't care so much about WHAT I eat as THAT I eat. So, I stock up on long-term storage, freeze-dried foods and water storage to re-hydrate them. In my case, I have found that the amount of water recommended to re-hydrate the contents of a commercial long-term storage food product makes more of a soup than a dish so I usually use less water than recommended.
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.
When eggs come directly from the nest to the table, it's unlikely a bad one will be found. But many eggs, purchased by the dozen in the local grocery store, are already weeks old before they hit the shelf. Some egg cartons have sell-by dates on them. Both the USDA and Egg Safety Center agree that eggs are usually good for several weeks past the stamped date but should not be regarded as an indication the eggs are safe to use. A simple test, in a bowl of water, will indicate the freshness of an egg.
Cook an Egg in Campfire Ashes:
When a cooking pot or pan is unavailable in the wild, the ashes of a campfire will do just fine to cook an egg that may have been found in a nest.
With a knife or rock, carefully peck a hole (1/4 - 1/2 inch) in one end of the egg shell.
If you want to spice up the taste, add salt, pepper or herbs in the hole and stir the inside with a small stick or shake the egg with your thumb over the hole.
Place the egg (hole up) on hot camp fire ashes (NOT coals). No need to pack ashes completely around the egg.
The egg will cook from the bottom up so when the egg in the hole has turned white (about 40 minutes for a standard chicken egg), it's ready to eat after letting it cool. [Video]
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).
Two breads to stockpile and make at home
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. It's a mixture of tallow (a rendered form of fat), dried meat, and sometimes dried berries, mixed together and cut into bars. A caloric rich food, it can be used as a key component in prepared meals or eaten raw. Depending upon the exact ingredients and method of preparation, the expected shelf life can be anywhere from half a year to 5 years.
- 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.
Reliance on commercial baby formula goes against the principals of self-reliance. Additionally, with the increasing use of soy, chemicals, GMO and inflammatory ingredients in commercial/processed foods, it could be a risk to your child's health and immune system. Research other products and methods where you are in control of your family's nutritional needs.
[Homemade Baby Formula 1] [Homemade Baby Formula 2]
|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.
1 - LABEL each item and/or container to clearly identify its contents and expiration date*.
2 - INVENTORY (notebook (preferred) or computer) food as it is being labeled. Record how many of that item are available, their expiration date(s)* and the location where it is stored. As items are used/removed from storage, mark that item off the inventory list so it is current with what is actually available.
3 - CATEGORIZE food items (such as wheat, rice, beans, vegetables, fruits, etc.) during the storage process so that they are easier to find.
4 - FIRST-ON-FIRST-OFF is a method to help use the food when it is needed. Foods with the nearest expiration date* should be the first used and placed at the front of the shelf while items with the furtherist expiration date* should go to the back of the shelf.
Organizing Emergency Preps
Click Here for More Tips
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.
Foods That Never Expire