How To Begin Prepping

March 2, 2012 by  
Filed under Survival Guides

survival guySo it’s time. You’re convinced. You know you need to prep…but where do you start? Beginning prepping is like a train. It’s har to get started but once it’s rolling it’s hard to quit! Everyone succesful at prepping has started from somewhere, and that somewhere is usually a bug out bag or maybe a victory garden.  For most taking care of your basics is the best place to start, but before you can understand what bacis you will need you should consider the following.

How Long And What For

How long you prep for obviously affects what you stock, and how much of it you stock. So does your reason for prepping. Those getting ready for a economical collapse would have little use for a Faraday Cage, for example. Nor would prepping for a long term senerio with only a weeks worth of water do you much good.

All the things you could possibly prep for is so varied that it’s impossible to cover them all in this article. If you have a particular scenario in mind I recommend you read more about what others are doing to prepare for it and add the extra things you may need to a basic starter plan.

Thankfully determining how long you sould prepare is much easier (sorta). There are a lot of guidelines and well laid out plans for each timeframe. Here are the most popular ones.

72 hours – This is the start for most. Your best bet for any 72 hour event is a Bug Out Bag. Most start here and expand as needed.

2 weeks – At this point you basically want to make sure you have enough water and food to last over and above the contents of your BOB. Most natural disasters fall into this catagory.

1 month – Again, this is mostly more water and food over and above a BOB, but you should also include a way to Cook Your Food and Heat Your Home without power. Get foods that can be easily prepared with very little clean up.

 6 months – Now you are into long-term preps. You will want to Build A Stockpile of food as well as Have Enough Water on hand for everyone. Also consider Becoming More Self-Sufficient in case whatever event you are planning for last longer than expected.

1+ years – This is when your best bet is to become self-sufficient and start a homestead. You can stock up on a year’s supply of food, and if you can’t buy any land or live you in a city then this is still your best bet…although I highly recommend you get out of any populated area quickly and Get To Your Bug-Out Location.

If you think you may go a 6 months or more in any sort of SHTF scenario you should sit down and consider all that is required to live a daily life, and the amazing amount of stuff you would need. It would be almost impossible for a single person to do it all. Consider talking to your friends about it and see if you can build a comunity of preppers who can rely on each other in dire times.

This is Part 1 of a  Multi-Part Article. Stay Tuned for Part 2. I will link it here when it’s complete.

In part 2 we’ll cover one of the best places to start prepping – Food.

How To Build A Stockpile For Only $2.75 A Day

September 24, 2011 by  
Filed under Homesteading

food storage in shelvesAs the global economy continues to tumble, many people across this great country are just now seeing the light and beginning to prepare. For many of these newcomers the question of where to begin is ever present, as well as how to afford all these new expenses. The very reason most newcomers want to prepare (economical troubles) make it difficult to buy the equipment necessary to be prepared, a catch 22. The solution is to start small, as small as $2.75 a day.

$2.75 can’t do much…in fact it’s hard to even buy a cup of coffee for $2.75 now! So how can you buy expensive gear and equipment for so little? Save it! You would be suprised how fast it adds up, and before you know it you can have a nice wad of cash to spend on your preps…with only $2.75 a day.

Let’s assume you save just $2.75 a day, or less than $20 a week. In a year you will have over $1,000 to put into your preps! $1,003.75 to be exact. So what can you do with your newly saved $1,000?

Here are my recommendations

Water ($50)– Minimum 1 gallon per-day

  • Store it in bulk – gallons of spring/drinking water are easy to buy, but at $1.00 per gallon they can be expensive.
  • Buy several 55 gallon plastic drums off craigslist (about $15 each) and fill them up. Don’t forget a hand pump too ($10)!
  • Save soft drink containers, rinse them out and fill with tap water (less than $.05 a gallon), add 3-4 drops of unscented bleach  and mark them with the date.

Food ($350)– 1,500 calories per day

  • Purchase in quantity what you normally eat. A good idea would be to sit down with a notepad and pen and meal plan for two weeks.
  • Remember that there may be no electricity so all food items in the meal plan have to come from the pantry, don’t forget a manual can opener too.
  • Next – take that 2 week meal plan and make a list of all items and use that as your shopping list. If you are able to buy 2 of everything listed – that would be a one month supply.
  • Do not forget cooking oil (essential fats) that you may need to complete your meal. Don’t forget about spices and other condiments.
  • Ramen soup, rice, lintils, and beans are cheap and easy bulk foods.
  • Powered milk, honey, and salt should also be on the list.
  • Wheat is great, but is harder to find and requires a mill.
  • Consider shelf life (aim for at least 1 year out).
  •  Buy store brands and buy on sale to maximize your available funds.

 Light ($30) – Your light in shining darkness

 Medical/First Aid ($20)– Don’t forget the band-aids

  • Make sure you are up to date on all prescriptions.
  • Get a decent first aid kit – usually around $5.00 to $10.00 .
  • Pick up extra supplies like band-aids, burn ointment, diarrhea medicine, pain killers, triple antibiotic, cold medicine, etc.

Household Supplies ($60)- For cleaning and sanitation

  • Basic’s here. Dish soap, toilet paper, a few basic cleaning supplies, bleach.
  • Get toiltries such as deodorant, shampoo, soap, hand sanitizer, shaving creme, and razors.

Self-Defense ($250)– Just as important as your supplies

  • Think self defence and hunting when it comes to guns. 12 gauge shotgun and a .22 rifle.
  • Check out the used gun selection at your local pawn and gun shops. Gun shows are a great place to shop too.
  • You should be able to pick up used 12 gauged shotgun as well as some shells for around $150.
  • Try to find a decent rimfire like the Ruger 10/22 along with a brick of ammunition for the other $100.
  • Alternativly you can also spend your extra $100 on 12 gauge ammo and accessories.

Fuel ($90)– Extra gas & propane

  • 10 gallons of gas + sta-bil treatment  is running around $35.00 at the moment.
  • Getting a 20-lb propane tank filled costs around $15.00.
  • Buy an extra 20lb propane tank if you can.
  • Buy a 20lb to 1lb adapter hose. They can be had for $15.

Heating & Cooking ($150) -  Indoor & outdoor flame

Well – that’s our $1,000.00 dollars. Start saving your $2.75 a day and soon you’ll have your very own stockpile to fall back on during tough times.

Remember you can adjust this list to fit your situation. If you already has a gun, then spend that money somewhere else. If you live in the desert, buy more water and less heaters. You get the picture, the same goes for every other category.

So how would YOU spend $1000 in preps? Any thoughts? Comment below and help others.

Saving Rice For Long Term Food Storage

August 30, 2011 by  
Filed under Survival Guides

Rice is one of the great wonder foods. While rice alone cannot keep you alive it should be an important part of your survival stores, especially if you’re on a budget. A 10lb bag of rice is full of carbs and is cheaper than dirt. It’s like a 10lb bag of energy! White rice is all starch (carbs) and metabolically equivalent to potatoes, white bread, pasta, flour and even raw sugar.  Starches are not completely digested by our bodies and the undigestible carbohydrates are not just neutral bulking agents, but have important physiologic effects, and contribute energy to the diet.

mylar bags in 5-gallon buckets

“Sugar” is not bad for your health, and starches are not all equal in their effects on blood glucose and lipids, but some studies have linked eating large amounts of white rice to an increased risk of diabities. This is why it’s still important to vary your diet and your food stores. You don’t just eat rice every day now do you? So don’t just stockpile rice but also lentils, corns, wheats, pastas, and beans. And while brown rice may be more nutritious avoid storing it as the fats and oils in the husks will go rancid fairly quickly. Brown rice stored in mylar bags inside 5 gallon bucks with o2 absorbers stores about 6 months, whereas white rice stores roughly 20+ years in the same mylar bags.

I’m often asked how much rice does a person need for one year. Th easiest way t0 figure this is to determine how many cups rice you want to eat every day and then divide that by how many cups there are in a pound of rice. For most people with a varied stockpile of food 1/2 cup of rice per day is enough. Most people balk at this idea and end up throwing money away on unneeded food “just in case”.

Remember thes are your emergency food stores, and not intended to be a feast. Your food stores are temporary and only intended to get you through until another sustainable food source can be found, such as a garden, so they should be eaten sparingly. In future posts I will talk more about this but for now just know that 1,500-2,000 calories/day will get you by just fine and that 1/2 cup of rice is about 300 calories. Mixed with other foods such as beans and wheat this will round out your new diet nicely. There are roughly five servings of 1/2 cup  in 1lb of rice. This means for every 1lb of rice you have 5 days of stored food so by doing some simple math you can see that 73lbs of rice will last one person an entire year and a family of 4 will need about 300lbs of rice.

You should buy buy your white rice in bulk 50lbs bags to save money. Large warehouse chains like Costco and Sams Club always have plenty of 50lb bags laying around. You can also try your local asian marketplace. Storing your white rice is just as important as buying it in the first place. 

Here’s a quick list of what you’ll need:

  1. Several food grade 5-gallon buckets. Each bucket will hold roughly 35 lbs of rice.
  2. 5-gallon mylar bags
  3. Oxygen absorber packets (1,000 cc a piece)
  4. Bag sealer (or just an iron)

Clean your buckets and dry them thoroughly. Place a mylar bag inside one of the buckets. Put a 1,000 cc O2 absorber in the bottom of the mylar bag. Slowly pour your rice into the mylar bag, lifting up and down on it as you pour to ensure all the cracks and crevices are filled in. Once the bag is full (leave a 1-2″ airgap from the top of the bucket) add another 1,000 cc O2 absorber.  Squeeze all the air out of the top of the bag and either use a clam shell sealer or an iron to seal your mylar bag. Snap your lid on your bucket and store it in a cool, dry place.

Here is a great set of videos that guide you step by step through the entire process. These are some of the best how-to mylar storage videos on the internet, watch them closely and you’ll learn alot!

Long term food storage part 1

Long term food storage part 2

Long term food storage part 3

 

And the Results…

Long Term food storage results pt.1

Long Term food storage results pt.2