Ok everyone, I hope you’ve enjoyed the series so far. In part 3 we’re going to discuss food and water storage. As I mention in the article, I’m writing a food storage article right now that’s going to be huge. But for now, this is some basic stuff for anyone to consider…nothing over the top.
For any of you who may not know, water trumps food in the necessity department. If you haven’t started storing water yet, you need to. Whether it’s in gallon jugs, individual bottles, or in 10,000 gallon military grade reservoirs…you have to have water. Most people can’t live longer than 3 days without water.
If you’re dealing with freezing weather, especially in long periods, then the chances of having to deal with frozen pipes also increase. Now if you’re dealing with heavy snow, and you have the ability to melt it…by all means you can use that as a last resort. I would personally recommend having some water purification options in place.
There are numerous options for emergency water filters. The designs are constantly evolving and there are dozens of different options to fit any budget or space requirement.
A great option for those on a budget would be a small and portable filter like this Survivor Filter. I own one and it’s incredible. It’s super light (3.5 ounces), it triple filters to .005 microns, it’s lab tested, has cleanable and replaceable filters, and it has a lifetime warranty. Hell you really can’t go wrong with it.
If you want to scale up and get super serious about your water filtration, you should check out the Berkey BK4X2-BB. This thing completely filters up to 3,000 gallons between having to worry about replacing the filters. The company claims it can even filter the food coloring out of water, WITHOUT removing the essential minerals.
If you find yourself stuck without a filter, you should have a back up plan for water purification. Again, there are also numerous options in this category, ranging from tablets, like these from Potable Aqua, to liquids like Aquamira.
Again, if you want a larger scale system, you might want to upgrade to a reverse osmosis system like this APEC Water Systems ROES-50. I recommend the APEC because it’s by far the best value, in my opinion. It’s built in the United States, it’s super easy to install and maintain (change filters every 6-12 months), and it removes 99% of over 1,000 contaminants. Whatever your budget, find something that fits your needs because it’s important.
If you don’t have the option of filtering or purification, you should boil your water source for 5-10 minutes to rid it of any bacteria, microorganisms, sediment, etc. Tea and instant coffee are good options if you need something to warm you up…the moral boost alone is worth the prep. Many teas are rich in antioxidants, as well as decent dosages of caffeine.
You could also look in to additives for your water, such as Mio, Gatorade mixes, Tang, etc. Not only do they add flavor, but they also contain numerous vitamins, minerals, and/or electrolytes. Most companies now offer “energy” options with higher doses of caffeine, as well as the inclusion of different vitamins that improve energy levels.
I’m going to be posting an in-depth article on food storage in the near future, so if you don’t have a food storage plan in effect, then you definitely want to start one. You can start with some basic foods to get you through until you’re clear of inclement weather.
For the winter months, you want to get things that are easy to prepare using simple methods. Canned foods are a good option if you have adequate storage space. Dehydrated foods such as Mountain House, Just In Case Bucket are also a popular option. They’re super light, take up a small footprint, and they have a 12 year shelf life….they also taste a HELL of a lot better than MRE’s. When you break down the price to portion ratio in these assortment packs, it’s a no-brainer really…they’re worth the investment.
Something I learned in the backpacking world is it’s always good to target things with a fairly high and dense caloric content. Things that are higher in fat and valuable protein. Ideally, you also want to add some fiber in the equation. Whether it comes directly from the food or whether it’s supplemental, it will add some regularity to the situation.
Also, if you’re stuck with having to cook over a kerosene heater or a camp stove, you’re going to be dealing fairly small cookware options. Small portions might not be a problem if there’s just one or two people, but it’s a different situation if you’re trying to feed a family. The more calories the better in this case.
Best Survival Food You Can Buy From Any Store
Here’s a list of things to look for in the grocery store:
- Peanut butter – It’s packed full of good fats and protein, and it also has a good shelf life.
- Nuts/Trail Mix – Also high in fats and protein, and occasionally you get some chocolate in there! Vacuum sealed bags are best, but get what you can find.
- Dried Fruits – Good source of fiber, as well as vitamins/minerals. Most dried fruits have added sugar, which increases the calorie content and can also provide a little moral boost if you’re down and out.
- Prepackaged meats/fish – You can get several options of meat or fish, such as chicken, turkey, tuna, salmon, and…sardines #gag. They’re all packed full of good ol’ fashioned protein that you need to maintain your strength, as well as a plethora of other functions. Canned options have a higher shelf life, while most of the sealed pouches have a shelf life of 6 months, but take up less space.
- Canned soup/chili/pasta – These items are definitely convenient, but check your labels and make sure to get full calorie options. While not the most calorie-dense option, you can find some that have a nice balance