By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail

By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail


What and How You Should Store Food

If you are a person who is afraid of the future and want to be prepared for any situation storing food is a must. Storing food can really be an art and is one of the categories I have discussed in my earlier beans, bullets and band aids post You really need to ask yourself some questions before you buy a years supply of food. These questions are how many people are in your family, what are their eating habits, are there any food allergies, how many calories per day does your family need and how long do you need food storage to last?


A good place to start is to make a menu of things you usually serve to your family and the recipes for each meal. You will probably want to make a menu for at least two weeks to a month so you have some variety in the food you are eating. Storing food that you will actually eat is very important. Another thing you need to remember is if you need to use your food storages because of an emergency you probably don’t have electricity either (unless you have some alternative power sources as discussed in a previous post). This limits the types of food you can so you will probably not want to try and store food in numerous freezers as the food will spoil with no electricity.

When storing food you will want to see how much each family member normally eats. Calories are the easiest way to calculate the amount of food eaten. Most adults will need about 2000 calories per day. This may even be a low number based on height, weight and the amount of calories burned. In a disaster scenario many people will be doing more physical labor so you may want to have a 25-50% higher daily caloric intake. This would mean for a person that normally eats 2000 calories per day they would probably need around 2500-3000 calories per day. Let’s quickly calculate the amount of calories needed for a family of four in the food they are storing. We have one adult male and one adult female as well as a 13 year old male child and a 5 year old female child. We will assume that the male eats 2300 calories per day, the female adult needs 1900 calories, the 13 year old needs 1700 calories and the 5 year old needs 1100 calories per day.

Total calories

  • 7,000 calories per day normally eaten.
  • 7,000*1.25=8,750 calories per day eaten after a disaster
  • 8,750*365= 3,193,750 calories of stored food needed to sustain the family.

This is a very rough ballpark of what you will need because there are also other things to consider. Some of the other things to think about when choosing food to be stored are fat, sodium, protein, and different vitamin and mineral contents. You could realistically have your only stored food be ramen noodles, but not only would you get quickly bored of this diet, your sodium levels would be sky high with no protein or substance to speak of. Having a variety of stored food that can serve all nutrition requirements is what you want. It is also good to have foods stored to eat even before there is a crisis. There are a couple reasons for this. The first reason is that you want to know how to cook the foods you have and actually eat them. The second reason for storing food to eat before a crisis is so you can rotate the food and make sure it doesn’t go bad. Stored food rotation just means that eat the oldest food, which is closest to expiration, first.

Below is a short list of foods that are good for storing:

  • Beans
  • Pastas
  • Beef Jerky
  • Honey
  • Flour
  • Wheat and wheat berries
  • Dried fruits
  • Dried vegetables
  • Freeze dried foods
  • Canned fruits and vegetables
  • Canned Meats
  • Other canned goods
  • Top Ramen and other comparable foods
  • Powdered and canned milk
  • Sugar
  • Drink powders
  • Powdered Butter
  • Rice
  • MREs
  • Survival bars or Rations
  • #10 Cans of survival food

Storing food needs to be well thought out so the food does not spoil. Even many dry foods have expiration dates. Storing food correctly can drastically increase the lifespan of the food. Some things to remember are that you want a place that is dry and that does not experience radical changes in weather and temperature. Something that causes stored food to go bad is oxygen. The less oxygen reaching the dried food the longer it will last. There are a few different ways to ensure that your food has no oxygen around it. One of the first things you can do is put the food into a vacuum bag and vacuum all the oxygen out of it. This is a good start but plastic bags aren’t always air tight so the food may still go bad over time. A better way for storing food is to use mylar bags with oxygen absorbers inside then close them using an iron. At this point you will want to put them into air tight food grade buckets.

Now is a great time to start storing food in case of a disaster or even if you have financial troubles. Not all survival food is expensive and can be found on sale quite often at grocery stores.


The Ultimate Survivalists and Preppers, Who is it?

My wife and I recently visited a town in Eastern Arizona called Snowflake.  It was a small Mormon settlement started in 1878.  We went to a few of the landmarks and museums in Snowflake (which is few as it is only a town of about 3-5k people).  We learned a lot of history of the place and how the people lived.

Snowflake Eastern Arizona

What interested me most is how much a prepper can learn from the pioneers.  The pioneers were preppers and survivalists as a way of life to stay alive rather than just preparing for something to go wrong.  There are some people who think what prepping is something so new and different, but really the way people live today is much more new and different than even in just the past 200 years.  In this day and age people can do jobs that require them to have a very specific knowledge of something.  In pioneer times the people were actually required to be better rounded, but not have as much of a specific training.  Instead of a person who is a master at construction, the pioneer would have to know how to build a house, fix a wagon, farm, fish, hunt, and many other things.  These were types of things that were natural for the pioneers and were taught to them as young children.

I feel that this type of do it all person really is few and far between in our society.  If I had to really describe the pioneers, I would say they were problem solvers.  Though they may not have been as educated as we are now they really had to make do and flourish with the limited tools and supplies they had.  These days if we feel the tool we have doesn’t work right we just go to the store and buy the right one.  Pioneers actually had to build all of their tools from planning and brainstorming to the manufacturing of the tool. It was amazing to look at some of the tools and inventions these people had made.  Though some of the tools were rough they served the purpose they were made for.

Ultimate Survivalists and Preppers

I believe in today’s society there are definitely some benefits to specializing in an area of study.  Some of the benefits are that you may make more money and that there may be less people fighting for a job as there are only a few trained people who can do it.  The other thing that is good about specializing for a society in general is that the technology will increase at a much faster rate than having people who know some about a lot of things.  Now if we were in a real TEOTWAWKI or SHTF scenario what do you think would be better?  Personally I think knowing a bit on each subject will be much more beneficial than specializing.  In these types of situations where there is not a society or a community you will have to be much more independent.  You may need to know vehicle and engine maintenance as well as self defense and gardening.

Even as a society of people who specialize in different areas most of us have time to learn other skills.  Prepping has really taught me how much I don’t know and how much I need to know.  This is why I am trying to learn and take classes as often as possible.  It may be a first aid class, a self defense class, or some type of cooking class, but they can all be beneficial in their own ways.  I think as a prepper we really need to open our minds and be willing to learn from all different types of people.  Unless the person is an all around prepper the person who teaches you garden is probably not going to be the same person who teaches you hand to hand combat.


5 Food Storage Basics for Emergency Preparation

1. Water

Storing water should be at the forefront of your planning. A person can go much longer without food than they can without water, so in case an emergency arises each person in the household should have a minimum of 1 gallon of water per day to survive. Water should be stored in containers designed specifically for water storage, and thoroughly cleaned before any water is added. Store water in a cool dry place and rotate the water storage regularly, every six months is a good target for rotation.


2. Temperature

The basic rule of thumb when it comes to storing food is that the higher the temperature the shorter lifespan of the food’s shelf life. Ideally, food should be stored at a constant temperature between 50°F – 60°F. This generally means that you will want to keep the storage inside, in a cool place, and out of direct sunlight to avoid temperature fluctuation throughout the day.

3. Packaging

Food must be stored in proper packaging to ensure long lifespan and safety when consumed. Prior to storing food make sure everything is treated to ensure that pests are not present when the storage process is completed. Small pests like insect larvae can be killed through various means like dry ice carbon dioxide fumigation prior to packaging. Larger pest can be prevented from entering by using proper storage materials like food grade plastic buckets that come in 6 gallon drums. Dry foods should be stored with oxygen absorbers to prevent any oxygen from spoiling the food.

4. Rotation

Specially packaged dry foods can stay healthy and nutritious for decades. Other foods, like canned food, might be just as delicious, but might not last quite as long as 20 years. Canned goods need to be rotated out much more frequently. Canned goods should be rotated annually to ensure that everything within the can is safe for consumption. Place your food on a rotating schedule with the oldest cans nearest to the front so they are used and replaced with new cans. In an emergency you’ll have the yummy chicken noodle soup to warm your body and get you through tough times.

5. Common sense

Keep your head about you when preparing emergency food storage. Don’t choose items to include in the storage that your family would never eat in a normal situation. Also, make sure you keep track of everything you are storing by using an inventory system. Make a list of all that you have purchased and stored so replacement of missing food can be done without too much heartache. Finally, don’t forget to add a few nonfood items to your emergency food storage planning. Plan on storing formula for babies, medication, diapers, first aid supplies, and communication devices like radios, to be as prepared as possible.


Shelly Lewis from


Best Survival Gun, Is there really one?

There is always a lot of debate about which is the best survival gun. The gist of it is, the best survival gun is the one that will get the job done. Each gun has its own purpose, so really the best survival gun depends almost entirely on the situation or what it is being used for. I do believe that there are a couple types of guns that each household will want to have when a disaster comes or when they need to beat the end. There are also other circumstances to remember when trying to find the best survival gun (or guns) for yourself and your family.

The three types of guns that are probably the most important for a survival situation are: a rifle, a shotgun, and a pistol. Each gun has its own purposes, advantages and disadvantages. One of the most important tip to remember is: even with the best survival gun for the situation, not knowing how to use it makes it worthless. Once you have decided on the survival gun that best suits your needs, get out there and actually fire it. You may say “I have shot a gun a few times so I know how to use them.” While this may be true, a life and death situation can take you out of your element.

Survival Gun - 2

There are two reasons to practice shooting: so you will get comfortable with the gun you will be using and to increase your accuracy. By taking these two things out of the equation, you will be able to focus on the situation rather than not being able to use your weapon correctly if a life or death situation were to arise. Some guns are also more accurate than others, so firing and sighting in your survival gun is very important. Most cities have firing ranges that can be used for a small fee or, depending on the law in your area, you may be able to get away from homes and target shoot. A hunter’s (or gun) safety course should be a must for you if you have no experience with guns or if you have children who will be learning to shoot. You will pay a small fee (sometimes free) to take the class and you will be taught some valuable information about gun safety and how guns work. They will even take you to a range to shoot your gun and give you hands on training. The classes are usually sponsored by the Game and Fish Department of your state. On a side note, you do not have to be a hunter to take these courses, but some states do require minors to take these courses in order to be able to hunt.


Survival Rifles

In a situation where a long range gun is necessary, a rifle will be the best survival gun for you. There are almost a limitless amount of rifles on the market and can be broken down into specific categories with many calibers of ammunition. I will just go over a few calibers and types in this post. If you were small game hunting or have a child you are teaching, a .22 is probably the best option. There are many different brands that make this caliber rifle. A .22 caliber rifle is a very small caliber so there will be very little recoil; the ammunition is cheap and is usually quite accurate up to 100 yards maximum. A good survival gun for hunting big game can really depend on preference and type of big game. For a deer or antelope, you will probably be fine with a .243 or a 30-30, but if you are hunting for elk, bear or moose, a 7mm magnum, .30-06 or a 300 win mag can be the best survival gun. Many times hunting rifles are bolt action style guns. If you are worried about protecting your family from a thief or trouble, the best survival gun may be what the US has termed an “assault weapon”. They are normally military “looking” weapons that are semi automatic and have a removable magazine. The benefits of these types of rifles are that you can get a lot of bullets flying very quickly (not always accurately though), magazines can be already loaded with ammunition so there is a quick reload, and some believe the look of these guns can be intimidating (at least that’s what some in the government believe). The most common of these guns are the AR-15 (.223 or 5.56x45mm) and the AK-47 (7.62x39mm and many other calibers with all the variants being made).


A shotgun can be the best survival gun for you if you are looking to bird hunt or just need close range protection. With shotguns, ammunition is designated by gauge (other than the .410 shotgun). Shotgun ammunition is quite different from rifle or pistol ammunition. Shotgun ammunition has many pieces of shot (basically a small ball bearing) that are shot simultaneously. This allows the shooter to kill something without having to be 100% accurate as the shot will spread out (slugs are also made, which are similar to rifle ammunition as it fires only one projectile). The most common gauges of shotguns are the 12 gauge and the 20 gauge. The 12 gauge may be the best survival gun because it is very versatile as it can be used for bird hunting (including turkey), as well as bigger game. The .410 (equivalent to a 67- 68 gauge) is probably the best survival shotgun for children and people who would like less of a kick. It
is not as loud, is usually smaller, but does have much less power.


Survival Pistols

Personally, I am more of a rifle and shotgun guy, but do have some pistols and definitely understand the value of them. Pistols are fantastic in short range combat, but most all lack the amount of power found in a rifle or pistol. The reasons that a pistol may be the best survival gun for you is that it is very easy to conceal, quick to pull up and shoot and they are also quite light. The three main calibers of pistol that are most relevant to the survival discussion are the 9mm, .40 S&W and the .45 ACP. They are in order from least to most powerful and least to most expensive for ammunition. These three calibers always spark a debate. For some people the ammo power is most important for others it is amount of kick or price that is the deciding factor. I leave this up to you to figure out what you prefer, but I definitely think you should test all three before making a decision. There are also .22 pistols which can be handy for hunting small game, but really not for protection. Although, maybe not the best survival gun, I love the Colt Trooper MK V .357 magnum. This is a six shooter revolver and is my favorite pistol to shoot. There’s nothing like being back in the old west.

Final thoughts

As you can see there is really no best survival gun. Ideally you should have many different types of guns that will accomplish the jobs you need to perform. I believe you will want to have at least one .22 rifle, one high powered rifle, one semi-automatic “assault” rifle, one shotgun, and one to two pistols. This should be the bare minimum of your survival arsenal if you are preparing for the end of the world as we know it. Don’t forget to have plenty of ammo.

Shelly Lewis from