Through years of prepping I’ve seen advice change often. As new products come out or new threats develop there’s always a flurry of new opinions.
Advice tends to change when new products come out or new threats develop. But unfortunately not all of this new advice is worth listening to.
Of course there’s some great information out there. There will always be people sharing their best advice, and there will always be some idiots out there too…
Building a stockpile is no exception. It seems like every silly blogger has a detailed plan of what you should stockpile, but most of them barely do any actual research.
This leads to posts full of items that are useless, are quite questionable, or just a waste of money and space.
If you’re going to depend on something for survival then you need to make sure you’re doing it right. Plus food ain’t free.
Look At What You Eat Now
You always read that you should only stockpile what your family needs now. At first that might make good sense, but in practice it’s a really terrible idea.
Think about all the process food, frozen items, useless junk food, sugary drinks, and other “nutritious foods” your family eats on a daily basis.
This is not ideal survival food, heck it’s not even mediocre survival food.
While your boxes of processed foods and random cans of veggies may last a long time, those boxes of snack cakes and hamburger helper isn’t.
Instead you should look for foods that your family would eat if they had to that are also nutritious. You don’t have to stock up on snack cakes just to make your kids happy, instead focus on things that have a long shelf life and are acceptable to your families palate.
Look for foods and recipes you can prepare with ingredients which will store for a long time.
This will require some experimenting and trial and error so start now before you stock up.
Probably one of the worst survival foods imaginable. Really? Frozen? Yes, we see them suggested all the time.
Listen, please don’t buy frozen foods for your stockpile. When the power goes off (as it does with just about any disaster) your frozen food will go bad before you can even eat it all.
This includes frozen vegetables, frozen processed foods, frozen meats, etc.
And don’t even think about using your microwave after SHTF.
I bet if you open your pantry right now it would be packed full of junk food. If not, congratulations you’re one of the very few.
Man can’t exist on potato chips alone. Most junk foods are essentially pure carbs. While you might need some extra carbs post SHTF, you also need many other nutrients which are highly lacking in junk food.
The American breakfast is one of the worst on the planet. Two slices of carby bread, smothered with butter or jelly, followed by compressed corn flakes coated in sugar in a bowl of milk, plus a big cup of coffee full of sugar and milk.
Eating breakfast is a standard in most American homes and is practically considered a right. But we would all be much better to skip it as it’s basically junk food nowadays.
As far as stockpiling breakfast cereal goes they don’t last very long because they become stale quickly. They also take up a lot of room compared to other grains for the calories contained and nutritional value you’re getting.
Just stay away from breakfast cereals (sugar in a bowl), it’s in no way nutritious.
We all love our coffee and if SHTF happens who wouldn’t want a big cup of joe?
The problem is keeping it fresh. Ground coffee is good for about two weeks ideally but can be stretched for a month. After that it will be stale.
While coffee does take up a lot of room I sympathize with a fellow coffee connoisseur. If you must have your cup of joe in the morning at least buy whole beans and a coffee grinder so that they will stay fresher a little longer.
Ideally you would buy green beans in bulk and roast them yourself as green coffee beans stay fresh for a very long time.
Ground Flour and Grains
Much like coffee, flour and other grains should be bought whole and ground when needed.
Flour will stay fresh for a few months but if we’re talking about a long-term stockpile here you should definitely buy grains and grind them as you need it or it will be stale and maybe bug infested.
A good grain mill isn’t cheap, especially if you want a high quality manually operated version, but they are worth it.
And don’t forget to learn how to use it ahead of time too.
If you think buying a big box of MRE’s is all you need then you’re going to have a sore awakening, and a sore stomach.
MREs are not meant to be lived off of for long extended periods of time. Many have high servings of salt and contain a lot of calories. Remember these meals were designed for soldiers working in battlefields carrying heavy rucksacks.
While the flavor isn’t so bad it is certainly not the ideal food for stockpiling despite what “survival bloggers” might say. Plus they’re actually pretty heavy.
Read how many calories are in each serving. If the servings are 300 calories and you plan to eat three servings a day you’ll be surviving on only 900 calories when you need closer to 2000.
Plus everyone is stockpiling MRE’s now so their prices have went through the roof.
There are other package survival foods that you can get such as dried foods, SOS bars etc, and it’s okay to stockpile a few of those sort of things including MREs, but don’t build your entire stockpile around these items.
Listen I know drinking water day in and day out for days, weeks, or maybe months isn’t the most thrilling idea, and if you want to throw in a few flavor packets they’re lightweight and cheap and worth having.
However soft drinks, instant iced tea, orange drinks, Gatorade, etc are just bottles of sugar and food coloring.
Water can be stockpiled in bulk for practically free and is all your body needs. It’s easier to replenish and stockpile, so don’t waste your time on bottled products (but a few boxes of flavor packs are a good idea).
I know eating some nice soft chocolate SHTF might sound very appealing but chocolate is not portable, it melts easily, and it attracts insects.
Instead consider stockpiling bags of hard candies. You can get these on sale around Halloween for a little bit of nothing.
Besides, if hard candy can survive in your grandma’s candy dish for 20 years I think it will be okay in your stockpile.
I know it’s tempting to throw anything and everything and then the kitchen sink into your stockpile. You have to be smart about what you put in there because it all cost time and money and storage space.
You also have to think about the possibility of moving your stockpile in a bug-out situation. If you have a million little things just sitting around on a shelf you’re going to have to leave most of it, or it’s going to be a huge pain to carry at least.
The moral of the story is plan well and don’t buy junk that isn’t going to last or provide nutrition.