For most preppers, safety and food security is of paramount importance. Having your own food supply during an emergency or crisis situation will keep you and your family self-sufficient even during the toughest times. How do you build your own stockpile for survival?
Here are 5 things you should know about buying food to stockpile.
- What Is Your Goal?
Before buying food to stockpile, you will need to set your goal. How much stock do you intend to buy? How long do you want the supplies to last? Ideally, your food and water supply should sustain you for at least 72 hours but for peace of mind during an emergency, go beyond the bare minimum.
Start by writing a list of foodstuff that can sustain you and your family for three days. Once you have achieved that goal, keep building until you have enough supplies to last a few months.
- Decide On A Stockpile Budget
When buying food to stockpile, it is important to have a budget from the beginning. Determine how much you can afford and how much money you can spare from your weekly shopping to buy food to stockpile.
Make your budget conservative and reasonable. Avoid getting into debt. Know when to stop. There are times when you will have to pass up a great deal to avoid wasting money. Remember to go over your budget before you start shopping. You can always take advantage of store sales and product rebate offers.
- Invest In Nutritionally Dense Foods
Sometimes, consuming food from a stockpile can get tiring and boring. This is why you will need to invest in a stock that includes nutritionally dense and tasty foods. Consider your family’s taste and make a list of ingredients they will enjoy. Some of the foods to buy include; multivitamins, dried fruits, cereal, canned meat and chicken, nuts and peanut butter.
Don’t buy food items that your family doesn’t eat. Don’t buy food that will go bad before you eat it. Check all the expiry dates and preservatives used to ensure that your food is safe for consumption for the entire period you will need it.
- Prioritize On Water
Water is life. Without it, our bodies cannot survive for more than three days. Buy enough water. You should stockpile and safely store at least two weeks supply of water for every individual in your house.
Commercially bottled water is the best choice since it is safe and does not require sanitizing or disinfecting any further. However, it is advisable to consume or replace the water every six months.
- Prepare Space For Your Stockpile
Stockpiling on food and water will take up a lot of space in your pantry. Before you head out shopping, ensure that you clean and prepare the space. If you intend to store the food in the basement, ensure that your basement is cool and dry.
Remember, seepage, mice or mold can make your entire stock of food unsafe. You can invest in additional storage shelving or identical boxes that take up minimum space.
A good survival checklist can go a long way.
There’s a reason that a ton of industries use it. Airline pilots are probably the best example I can think of. Astronauts use a lot of checklists as well. The military uses checklists every day to make sure nothing is forgotten. Doctors and nurses use checklists because without them, they may forget to tend to a patient which can be VERY bad news! That’s why we’ve put together the following survival checklists, along with a short description for reach item. I know that it will help you get ready for the coming apocalypse, so start filling this sucker out!
• Acquire two different water purification systems.
This is so that you have a solid backup plan. Some purification systems work better in certain situations than others. Also remember that even though boiling water can work, this should not be considered one of these two systems! Think of it as a last resort.
• Learn how to hunt and fish.
Obviously this includes learning how to clean and cook the animal. You can actually eat a lot of different parts, but there are a few things to be careful with. For example, when dressing the animal you must be sure to not cut into the intestine. If you do then the animal’s feces will spill out and the meat is ruined!
• Learn how to build shelters.
Again, just knowing one method to build a shelter isn’t good enough. So what if you know how to build a log cabin- I highly doubt you’ll have those kinds of resources or time! Oh, you’re an expert at building a metal shack? What if you’re in an area without the proper metal materials? Don’t screw yourself- cover your ass and learn several different things.
• Pack a compass and map of where you’ll be living.
Have you ever gotten lost? Kinda sucks. But what if you got lost during the coming apocalypse and couldn’t find your way back to camp? That would really suck. But, you can’t blame me because I put this on your survival checklist…
• Get a solid backpack and have it ready to go at any time
This is pretty self-explanatory. The apocalypse isn’t going to happen at any known time. You have to be ready to get your stuff and GTF out of there!
• Get a dog and train it how to hunt.
You don’t want the apocalypse to happen and then find a little puppy and then train it how to hunt! Instead you want your dog to be ready to fight off attackers, help you hunt, and be a loyal companion for when the shit goes down.
• Identify three (or more) possible places to set up camp. Know how to get to them by foot.
Even though you may have access to a car or bike, don’t count on it. You need to know exactly where you want to hole up. Find a place with ready access to food and water, and hopefully has a built-in shelter like a cave or fallen trees.
So there you have it! It’s not the most complete survival checklist ever, but if you do all of these things you’ll be MUCH better prepared than most people.
Our guest blogger OmegaMan recently visited the Smokey Mountain Knife Works, here is his re-cap of his great day at their facility.
Located in Sieverville, Tennessee, Smokey Mountain Knife Works falls into the greater Gatelinberg, Pigeon Forge area.
They advertise themselves as a knife store “If It Cuts, We Carry It” but you will not believe what is waiting inside for you..so much more than you ever imagined!
Upon first entering the large retail center you will be taken back by an amazing collection of Civil War rifles that are actually for sale. Dozens upon dozens of these ancient beauties line the walls and can be had for $500 to thousands depending on condition.
The greater retail space is broken into smaller sub sections mostly by manufacturer. Boasting over 2,000,000 knives….every knife you can think of is here from pocket knives to tomahawks. This is a multi-level store with the upstairs housing an amazing historic collection in their History of Knifes Museum. You could spend an easy hour alone tracing back the history and interesting evolution of blades.
One section houses Camo gear, tactical vests, holsters, patches and related military garb. Need some MRE’s…there over there!
Another is dedicated to Swiss Army knives. What an amazing assortment!
Need an air raid siren…they have those too, although the clerk is only able to demonstrate it on a limited basis, (very loud in the building lol).
SOG Knives, United Cutlery, Case, etc, Mykel Hawke, “Gunny”, Gerber, Buck frost Cutlery, Gransfors Bruks…you name it… showcase upon showcase…over 157 brand names….unbelievable!!!
Downstairs was amazing too. An incredible assortment of collectibles. I mean fossils (trilobites and everything), Civil War relics , World War II items including helmets, uniforms, letters and photos. I could have spent all day in this area going through thousands of rare items. So, so cool. Beyond description!
Country cooking and southern retail items took up a major part of the bottom floor as you walked by streams, and waterfalls meandering through water wheels and old mill machinery. Oh..look….”there’s a gattlin’ gun over there”…
Most people only see the outside front of the beautifully massive 100,000 sf Smokey Mountain Knife Works outlet. Little do they know the company has another massive building in the rear. Employing over 250 people at any time, all were very courteous and knowledgeable.
Head on up to the greater Gatinberg, TN area, you will not be disappointed. There is so much to do from Dollywood, to the miles upon miles of tourist attractions in the greater tri-city area.
But definitely check out Smokey Mountain Knife Works. Every member of my family had so much fun and all took home something to remember!
Should you be a prepper?
Across the U.S. Americans have let their guards down, committing their absolute faith and confidence in the federal government’s bureaucracies that continue to drop the ball. When time and history continue to prove deniers wrong the question has to be asked, why are you not preparing for at least one of these Top 5 Reasons to be a Prepper? Think it out and understand it doesn’t take anything more than responsibility and education to prepare for SHTF (Shit to Hit The Fan).
5. Viral Pandemic
We have a reasonable amount of faith in our medical professionals and the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), but we’re still forced to accept that a mutated strain of Ebola can spread across our globe in as little as a few weeks. From 1976 to 2011 there have been 28 known cases of Ebola (Hemorrhagic Fever) outbreaks, and three of those outbreaks were in the United States of America. There is no known cure for Ebola, and when an artificial or natural mutation occurs in its strain our country will be absolutely defenseless. Pandemics like Ebola are devastating to any population regardless of their scientific advancements. For instance, the most devastating pandemic known as ‘The Black Death’ occurred in the fourteenth century. In as little as two years The Black Death mortality rate quickly rose to approximately two hundred million fatalities. However, these cases lacked modern medicine and ‘over-night’ international travel.
Worried yet? Well, there’s a reason Viral Pandemic is only listed as Number 5 on our Reasons to be a Prepper. America leads the way in microbiology and medical advancements, including several other countries throughout the globe who don’t want the entire species to go extinct. In addition to the natural outbreak of a population leveling virus, you also have to prepare for an intentional release by man. Humans have a history of being self-destructive and unbalanced when fueled by some insane ideology, being a prepper could save your and your family’s life.
4. Cyber Attack
The digital infrastructure of The United States is the internet, and its not adequately protected as seen in the latest rise of publicized cyber-attacks on American interests. If our digital infrastructure does not undergo immediate advancements in defense technology the attacks will only become more frequent and more damaging. Think about it, no more money from the ATM because the world’s banking systems have been successfully hacked. Without money to exchange hands our economy would collapse, causing the remaining countries’ economies follow in America’s steps due to international banking and trading reliance, and vice versa.
The most prominent case of cyber-attacks against American Institutions occurred between October 2011 and February 2012, with 50,000 successful attacks reported to the Department of Homeland Security and 86 of attacks on critical infrastructure networks. Critical infrastructure networks such as; power grid, basic communication (cell phones, broadcasts, and internet access), water supplies, oil production and delivery, agriculture (no more food from the store). When you think about it, we continue to produce synthetic processing power advancements, making processors faster and smarter, which follow a trending escalation in the severe complexity of cyber-attacks. Common sense should tell you cyber-attack is a potential threat to you, your family and friends.
3. Economic Collapse
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the U.S. Labor Force percentage of employed Americans has continued to decline since 2006. You will hear magical platitudes about these numbers, but the realities are plain as beans at times. The increase of Americans that are no longer in the labor force since Obama was elected in 2008 is no more than three times greater than the increase in the rates of the 1980’s. With governments across the globe invading the private sector it’s no surprise liquid and independent capitalism is crippled.
A devastating -.01 GDP (Gross Domestic Product) announced in January 2013 followed a continuous pattern of economic recession since 2008. According to the USDA the number of Americans who rely upon the government for basic needs has reached a record high of 47,710,324+/- or 15%. All the numbers are pointing towards economic collapse, the middle class will inevitably be taxed at a pervasive level and our Country’s economy will be finished. What’s Obama’s answer after spending six trillion dollars in four years with only negative and downward sloping results? Tax more Americans and spend more, that’s called the brass tacks. This makes economic collapse a valid reason to be a prepper.
2. Natural Disaster
Natural disasters are common in America, tornadoes occur at least a thousand times every year, 12% of the population was threatened by a hurricane in 2011, mega floods occur every 100-200 years and since 1980 there has been over 410 recorded droughts. With high probability stats like these natural disasters takes a well-deserved 2nd place reason to be a prepper. Natural disasters are common enough and relatively simple enough to prepare for. A lack of preparedness contributed to the death rates of Katrina, where approximately 971 deaths were due to drowning, murder, and etc…
A basic approach to prepping would have saved countless lives in Katrina and other natural disasters with a minimal amount of preparedness required. Natural disasters are not a threat to continental and global populations but they can still do a lot of damage based on their severity. Basic preparedness and basic knowledge saves lives. Always have a means of defense and survival for you and your family.
In 238 Years America has been in 17 major wars, and over 47 Attacks were on American Soil and Embassies since 1920… that we know about. Pax Romana was stable and prosperous for two hundred years before its first major crisis that was well survived. Now we have countries like North Korea quickly becoming a threat to the United States and our allies, they are firmly tied to China and their government is actively trying to invade Japanese lands to pillage their natural resources through slow, but continuous strikes.
We have stood with Israel since 1948 and they are at the brink of war with Egypt (The Muslim Brotherhood whose first bylaw is Jihad) and Iran (Ran by Muslim Extremists whose first bylaw is Jihad, and we’re letting them build Nukes.), and now Barack Obama has approved sending several M1A1 Abrams Tanks and F16’s to Egypt. Now factor in Russia, who will defend Bashir Assad’s Syrian Regime and Iran if America takes action. Now you have a perfect set of circumstances for global war. This information is not being broadcasted in the main stream media and you will have to learn for yourself without being spoon fed what to believe.
So the Top Reason for you to be a Prepper or Survivalist is War, the most common disaster Americans face. Maybe having some supplies stored and firearms at the ready wouldn’t be such a bad idea. Never forget, America has a wealth of resources and the rest of the world is quickly depleting their own, by then the laws of human nature are inescapable.
First, I would like to say congratulations! And secondly, I’m not a fan of the “prepper” label, I prefer to use “realist” or “survivalist”. With the popularity of TV shows like Doomsday Preppers, a “prepper” has become a stigma the mainstream media and often called nutty, crazy or just out there.
So back to your “realist” spouse, it’s important to know what exactly they are preparing for, and are you embracing or opposing it? Was it a recent event or has this been going on from the beginning of your relationship? Many “survivalists” have a specific trigger event or future fearful event that they focus on.
Communication is key, it’s better to discuss everything openly, and be partners. I have heard of the excessive “realists” that can spend everyday and almost every dollar on their preps, the ones usually portrayed on TV. With open communication and a set plan, it can bring you closer together as a couple or tear you apart. Either way, Talk it out.
In your discussions, you should find out why it’s important to prepare. “Independence, self reliance, survival, family, etc…” what makes emergency preparedness important to you and your spouse that matters most.
If you can’t be a part of it, please don’t mock it. Your spouse cares enough about you to include you. It’s easy to think, “It’ll never happen to me”, until it does. Mother nature, happens so it’s best to be as prepared as possible. You wouldn’t go on vacation without packing a suitcase…
Over the past 70 years of its existence, this staple product of fix-it-your-selfers has been used by virtually every walk of life, for jobs that I’m sure the duct tape developers never imagined. So how can we use it for survival?
Here are 25 survival uses for duct tape, in no order whatsoever.
1. Repairing a cracked water bottle or a pierced hydration bladder. A little strip of DT is the next best thing to a bandage for an ailing water vessel. Just dry the surface before you try to tape your patch in place, most forms of duct tape don’t stick to wet surfaces.
2. Survival arrow fletching. Tear off a few 5-inch pieces, and a long edge of one piece to the arrow shaft, fold the tape lengthwise, and stick the other long edge of that piece to the arrow. Repeat this process one or two more times; trim the vanes to shape with your knife; and you will have a serviceable arrow fletching.
3. Butterfly bandage strips. Cut two small strips of DT, and add a smaller strip across their centers (sticky side to sticky side) to create a makeshift butterfly suture.
4. Make cordage. Twist one or several lengths of duct tape into a cord or rope.
5. Patch a hole in canoe. I wouldn’t trust my life to this one, but it’s been done more than once.
6. Fashion a belt. When you are starving in the wild, and your pants start falling down, run a piece of DT through your belt loops and stick it to itself in the front. Overlap it about 4 or 5 inches and you’ll still be able to peel the belt apart when nature calls.
7. First aid sling. Fold a length of DT down the middle, so that it is half the original width and no longer exposing a sticky side. Use the strap to make a sling for a busted arm.
8. Leave a note. Write on it with a Sharpie, or use strips to form letters.
9. Handcuff alternative. If someone is acting up during a survival emergency, you can duct tape their hands together around a tree to prevent them from becoming a danger to themselves or others.
10. Mend shoes and clothing. You can skip the sewing class, if you have enough duct tape.
11. Repair your glasses. The tape on your glasses my look a little nerdy, but at least you’ll still be able to see.
12. Attach shelter elements. Just a few trash bags and some duct tape, and you have a survival shelter roof, or a sleeping bag cover, or a wind break, or…
14. Make a hat. If you believe what you see on TV, the “Mythbusters” guys made a pretty nice looking hat out of duct tape on a recent episode.
15. Afix bandages. Place a sterile dressing over your wound, and strap it in place with DT. Hopefully you’re not too hairy where you got injured.
16. Fix your rain gear. Keep the dry stuff dry, and keep the water out, by mending your ripped rain gear with a few strips.
17. Make a drinking cup. Some creative folding and sticking can result in a cup you can drink from.
18. Make a spear. Strap your knife to a pole and you have a trusty spear to fend off beasts, or make one into your dinner.
19. Blister care. Cover the blistered area with a bit of cotton gauze, and tape over the cotton. Make sure that the duct tape fully covers the cotton and doesn’t touch the blister at all.
20. Mark a Trail. Use it to blaze a trail or signal for rescue, especially if your DT is brightly colored or reflective.
21. Make emergency repairs on your Bug Out Vehicle. Leaking hoses and windows that won’t stay up don’t stand a chance against the mending powers of duct tape.
22. Keep the feathers in your sleeping bag. If you have a hole in your down sleeping bag, the feathers will pour out faster than excuses from a politician. Patch the hole with DT.
23. Keep your tent closed. A damaged zipper could leave your tent door flapping in the wind. Stick the door shut, and keep the bugs and critters out.
24. Splint a leg. A broken ankle or leg can be stabilized with ample splint material, padding and duct tape. Pad the crotch of a forked branch with some cloth and duct tape to fashion a quick crutch to go with your splint.
25. Splint a broken tent pole or fishing pole. By taping a stick to the broken area of your tent pole or fishing rod, you might just get one last adventure out of it.
Tell us your best duct tape trick or survival strategy in the comments.