Preppers Staple Food Storage Quantities

Preppers Staple Food Storage Quantities

"Experts" have said that the average adult will consume the following amounts of fresh food per year.

  • Meat - 150 to 200 pounds
  • Flour - 200 to 300 pounds
  • Sugar or honey - 60 pounds
  • Fats or Oils - 60 pounds
  • Salt - 5 pounds
  • Powdered Milk - 75 pounds
  • Vegetables and Fruits - 600 to 700 pounds
  • Water - 375 gallons

These figures are just basic guidelines, however considerations should be made from the aspect of preserved foods, rather than fresh foods.

Meat: In severe conditions, people could easily get by with less protein than 150 pounds of fresh meat per year, as that averages to almost a half pound per day. A canned, cooked one pound ham, for example, would be a real treat once a week, and easily feed a family of four. For weekday meals for a family of four, a 5 ounce can of tuna, canned chicken, 12 ounce can of luncheon meat, or 12 ounce can of corned beef can be used in a casserole (or whatever) and provide the required protein.

Flour: The listed amount of 200 to 300 pounds of flour per year is fairly realistic, in a SHTF scenario people would be making their own bread and pasta, for example. Using a hand cranked mill to produce flour from whole wheat is a sure way to limit the amount of flour required.

Sugar or honey: The recommended 60 pounds is the absolute minimum needed, in reality far below the actual amount desired, as sweeteners are the carbohydrates needed for energy, and survival is hard work. The 60 pounds listed does not take into account home canning, for example, and people will need to make jellies and jams and can fruits, all of which require a considerable amount of sugar or honey.

Fats or oils: Again, this is an absolute minimum amount needed, as 60 pounds of fats or oils does not go far when used in baking, frying, and other uses. In hard times, people actually require fat in their diet in order to do hard work. In every country in which food is rationed, cooking oils are one of the first items of scarcity. Corn oil stores for years, and so does plain, inexpensive hydrogenated lard.

Salt: Five pounds of iodized table salt would be the recommended minimum per person per year, but what about making kraut, salt preserving meat, or preserving fish in a barrel of salt? For those needs, a family should have at least 50 pounds of fine grade, non iodized salt, available for less then $5.00 from a feed and seed store.

Powdered Milk: The 75 pounds recommended per person is fine, but for cooking needs a couple of cases (48 cans) of canned, condensed milk is an absolute necessity.

Vegetables and Fruits: In hard times, greens and fruits can indeed be a vital food item, as they provide the vitamins and minerals our bodies require to remain healthy. Storing vegetables and fruits is where a food dehydrator really shines. Combine the dried veggies with fresh greens from a garden and canned fruit juices and sauces, and the 600 pound per year amount becomes far more attainable.

7 Preppers Food Storage Mistakes

7 Preppers Food Storage Mistakes

  1. VARIETY - Most people don't have enough variety in their storage. 95% of the people I've worked with only stored the 4 basic items we mentioned earlier: wheat, milk, honey, and salt. Statistics show most of us won't survive on such a diet for several reasons.
    1. Many people are allergic to wheat and may not be aware of it until they are eating it meal after meal.
    2. Wheat is too harsh for young children. They can tolerate it in small amounts but not as their main staple.
    3. We get tired of eating the same foods over and over and many times prefer not to eat than to sample that particular food again. This is called appetite fatigue. Young children and older people are particularly susceptible to it. Store less wheat than is generally suggest and put the difference into a variety of other grains, particularly ones your family likes to eat. Also store a variety of beans. This will add variety of color, texture and flavor. Variety is the key to a successful storage program. It is essential that you store flavorings such as tomato, bouilion, cheese, and onion.

    Also, include a good supply of the spices you like to cook with. These flavorings and spices allow you to do many creative things with your grains and beans. Without them you are severely limited. One of the best suggestions I can give you is buy a good food storage cookbook. Go through it and see what your family would really eat. Notice the ingredients as you do it. This will help you more than anything else to know what items to store.

  2. EXTENDED STAPLES - Few people get beyond storing the four basic items, but it is extemely important that you do so. Never put all your eggs in one basket. Store dehydrated and/or freeze-dried foods as well as home canned and store bought canned goods. Make sure you add cooking oil, shortening, baking powder, soda, yeast and powdered eggs. You can't cook even the most basic receipes without these items. Because of limited space I won't list all the items that should be included in a well-balanced storage program. They are all included in the The New Cookin With Home Storage cookbook, as well as information on how much to store, and where to purchase it.
  3. VITAMINS - Vitamins are important, especially if you have children, since children do not store body reserves of nutrients as adults do. A good quality multi-vitamin and vitamin C are the most vital. Others may be added as your budget permits.
  4. QUICK AND EASY AND PSYCHOLOGICAL FOODS - Quick and easy foods help you through times when you are psychologically or physically unable to prepare your basic storage items. No cook foods such as freeze-dried are wonderful since they require little preparation. MRE's (Meals Ready to Eat), such as many prepardness outlets carry, canned goods, etc. are also very good. Psycological Foods are the goodies - Jello, pudding, candy, etc. - you should add to your storage.

    These may sound frivolous, but through the years I've talked with many people who have lived entirely on their storage for extended periods of time. Nearly all of them say these were the most helpful items in their storage to normalize their situations and make it more bearable. These are especially important if you have children.

  5. BALANCE - Time and time again I've seen families buy all of their wheat, then buy all of another item, and so on. Don't do that. It's important to keep well-balanced as you build your storage. Buy several items, rather than a large quantity of one item. If something happens and you have to live on your present storage, you''ll fare much better having a one-month supply of a variety of items than a year's supply of two to three items.
  6. CONTAINERS - Always store your bulk foods in food storage containers. I have seen literally tons and tons of food thrown away because they were left in sacks, where they became highly susceptible to moisture, insects and rodents. If you are using plastic buckets make sure they are lined with a food grade plastic liner available from companies that carry packaging supplies. Never use trash can liners as these are treated with pesticides. Don't stack them too high. In an earthquake they may topple, the lids pop open, or they may crack. A better container is the #10 tin can which most prepardness companies use when they package their foods.
  7. USE YOUR STORAGE - In all the years I've worked with prepardness one of the biggest problems I've seen is people storing food and not knowing what to do with it. It's vital that you and your family become familiar with the things you are storing. You need to know how to prepare these foods. This is not something you want to learn under stress. Your family needs to be used to eating these foods. A stressful period is not a good time to totally change your diet. Get a food storage cookbook and learn to use these foods!

    It's easy to solve these food storage problems once you know what they are. The lady I talked about at the first of the article left realizing what she had stored was a good beginning, but not enough. As she said, "It's better to find out the mistakes I've made now while there's still time to make corrections." This makes a lot more sense.

    If you're one who needs to make some adjustments, that's okay. Look at these suggestions and add the things you're missing. It's easy to take a basic storage and add the essentials to make it liveable, but it needs to be done. As I did the research for my cookbook I wanted to include recipes that gave help to families no matter what they had stored. As I put the material together it was fascinating to discover what the pioneers ate is the type of things we store. But if you have stored only the 4 basics, there's very, very little you can do with it. By adding even just a few things it greatly increases your options, and the prospect of your family surviving on it. As I studied how the pioneers lived and ate, my whole feeling for food changed. I realized our storage is what most of the world has always lived on. If it's put together the right way we'll be returning to good basic living with a few goodies thrown in.

Survival Prepper WROL Threat From Pseudo Preppers When SHTF

This may represent an actual small fraction of the preppers, we must address the possibility. Some preppers are all guns and no groceries (some are the other way around). When belly button meets backbone (starvation), they may resort to desperate means. Unlike the rank and file citizen, these folks often have talent. Desperate people do desperate things

Survival Situations & Personal Hygiene

Survival Situations & Personal Hygiene

In any situation, cleanliness is an important factor in preventing infection and disease. It becomes even more important in a survival situation. Poor hygiene can reduce your chances of survival.

A daily shower with hot water and soap is ideal, but you can stay clean without this luxury. Use a cloth and soapy water to wash yourself. Pay special attention to the feet, armpits, crotch, hands, and hair as these are prime areas for infestation and infection. If water is scarce, take an “air” bath. Remove as much of your clothing as practical and expose your body to the sun and air for at least 1 hour. Be careful not to sunburn.

If you don’t have soap, use ashes or sand, or make soap from animal fat and wood ashes if your situation allows.

To Make Soap

  • Extract grease from animal fat by cutting the fat into small pieces and cooking it in a pot.
  • Add enough water to the pot to keep the fat from sticking as it cooks.
  • Cook the fat slowly, stirring frequently.
  • After the fat is rendered, pour the grease into a container to harden.
  • Place ashes in a container with a spout near the bottom.
  • Pour water over the ashes and collect the liquid that drips out of the spout in a separate container. This liquid is the potash or lye.

Another way to get the lye is to pour the slurry (the mixture of ashes and water) through a straining cloth.

  • In a cooking pot, mix two parts grease to one part lye.
  • Place this mixture over a fire and boil it until it thickens.

After the mixture (the soap) cools, you can use it in the semiliquid state directly from the pot.

You can also pour it into a pan, allow it to harden, and cut it into bars for later use.

Keep Your Hands Clean

Germs on your hands can infect food and wounds. Wash your hands after handling any material that is likely to carry germs, after urinating or defecating, after caring for the sick, and before handling any food, food utensils, or drinking water. Keep your fingernails closely trimmed and clean, and keep your fingers out of your mouth.

Keep Your Hair Clean

Your hair can become a haven for bacteria or fleas, lice, and other parasites. Keeping your hair clean, combed, and trimmed helps you avoid this danger.

Keep Your Clothing Clean

Keep your clothing and bedding as clean as possible to reduce the chances of skin infection or parasitic infestation. Clean your outer clothing whenever it becomes soiled. Wear clean underclothing and socks each day. If water is scarce, “air” clean your clothing by shaking, airing, and sunning it for 2 hours. If you are using a sleeping bag, turn it inside out after each use, fluff it, and air it.

Keep Your Teeth Clean

Thoroughly clean your mouth and teeth with a toothbrush at least once each day. If you don’t have a toothbrush, make a chewing stick. Find a twig about 20 centimeters (cm) (8 inches) long and 1 centimeter (1/3 inch) wide. Chew one end of the stick to separate the fibers. Then brush your teeth thoroughly. Another way is to wrap a clean strip of cloth around your fingers and rub your teeth with it to wipe away food particles. You can also brush your teeth with small amounts of sand, baking soda, salt, or soap. Rinse your mouth with water, salt water, or willow bark tea. Also, flossing your teeth with string or fiber helps oral hygiene.

Preppers Are Crazy!

If you have ever encountered "prepper flack" from loved ones, family or friends, here are some thoughts to bring peace to your mind and hopefully to theirs. And remember you need not prove to anyone your sanity for prepping.

Prepping is a personal choice. I think of it as insurance for the future. I buy other insurance so why not prepare for the most important things needed in case of loss from storm, job loss, economic collapse, EMP etc. We preppers each have our own reason for prepping.

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Survival Situations & Dental Emergencies

Survival Situations & Dental Emergencies

By Douglas W. Stephens, D.D.S.

TOM and Sylvia Moore and their two boys, Tom Jr., age twelve and Jed, age ten, hiked all day and near dusk made camp on a lovely grassy knoll overlooking a high mountain stream loaded with trout, apparently begging to be tossed in their frying pan.

At daybreak, Tom and Sylvia were awakened by Tom Jr. and Jed jumping up and down outside their tent yelling for them to get up and take them down to the stream. The boys had their four rods rigged by the time their parents had dressed. Tom understood their excitement knowing how much the whole family had been looking forward to this vacation.

As they started out, the two grownups found the kids' feelings contagious. Halfway down the trail, Jed, who had been running ahead, suddenly let out a cry of pain. When the family rushed up, they found the boy lying on the ground holding his jaw. Tom picked him up and sat him on a flat rock. Blood gushed out of his mouth. Pulling the boy's hand away, Tom saw a gapping hole where Jed's front tooth should have been. The boy held up a bloody tooth. Tom saw where the boy fell and the bloody rock where he must have hit his jaw and realized he had knocked the front tooth cleanly out of its socket.

Luckily Sylvia had once worked in a dental office. She gently took the tooth from the boy being careful to hold it by the crown. Leading the boy back to camp, she sat him in a camp chair while she got out her emergency first aid kit. Laying the tooth on a clean piece of gauze, she washed the blood from the boy's mouth and inspected the tooth's socket. A small amount of blood was still oozing out. She had the boy rinse with plain water cautioning him not to suck or use any force. She then rinsed what dirt she could from the surface of the root, being careful not to touch the root with her fingers. Still holding the tooth by the crown, she tenderly inserted it in the tooth socket, holding it firmly in place while her husband, using a piece of heavy monofilament fishing line splinted the tooth to the two adjoining teeth. She made a cold pack with water from the icy stream which she had the boy hold against his face next to the injured area to minimize swelling.

Leaving Tom Jr. and Sylvia at camp, Tom took the boy down the mountain to a hospital emergency room where they got in touch with a dentist who gave the boy more permanent treatment. He told Tom due to their quick action in replacing the tooth and bringing him in for professional help, they had an excellent chance the tooth would be permanently attached though he would have to check the tooth's pulp from time to time to make sure it was alive. If it died, he would fill the canal and the boy could still retain his tooth for many years.

Often when taking a vacation away from home, we are prepared for general health problems but do not know what to do when faced with a dental emergency. Whether the trouble faced is a simple toothache, pain from tooth eruption or something more serious like a broken jaw or a abscessed tooth, it may threaten to spoil a vacation.

Before leaving on a trip, it is good insurance to see a dentist in order to make sure there will be no dental problems which may give trouble in the near term. It is smart to add a dental first aid emergency kit to your luggage.

This should include: 1. Medications such as, salt, hydrogen peroxide (3%), aspirin or acetaminaphen (Tylenol), oil of cloves and orabase with benzocaine, (like Orabase Oral Protective Paste with Benzocaine on sale at your local pharmacy). 2. Supplies should include: cotton balls, cotton swabs, gauze pads, tea bags, a toothbrush, dental floss, toothpicks, tweezers, some paraffin or candle wax and an ice pack or a wet frozen wash cloth.

TOOTHACHE: The most common dental emergency. This generally means a badly decayed tooth. As the pain affects the tooth's nerve, treatment involves gently removing any debris lodged in the cavity being careful not to poke deep as this will cause severe pain if the nerve is touched. Next rinse vigorously with warm water. Then soak a small piece of cotton in oil of cloves and insert it in the cavity. This will give temporary relief until a dentist can be reached.

At times the pain may have a more obscure location such as decay under an old filling. As this can be only corrected by a dentist there are two things you can do to help the pain. Administer a pain pill (aspirin or some other analgesic) internally or dissolve a tablet in a half glass (4 oz) of warm water holding it in the mouth for several minutes before spitting it out. DO NOT PLACE A WHOLE TABLET OR ANY PART OF IT IN THE TOOTH OR AGAINST THE SOFT GUM TISSUE AS IT WILL RESULT IN A NASTY BURN.

SWOLLEN JAW: This may be caused by several conditions the most probable being an abscessed tooth. In any case the treatment should be to reduce pain and swelling. An ice pack held on the outside of the jaw, (ten minutes on and ten minutes off) will take care of both. If this does not control the pain, an analgesic tablet can be given every four hours.

OTHER ORAL INJURIES: Broken teeth, cut lips, bitten tongue or lips if severe means a trip to a dentist as soon as possible. In the mean time rinse the mouth with warm water and place cold compresses on the face opposite the injury. If there is a lot of bleeding, apply direct pressure to the bleeding area. If bleeding does not stop get patient to the emergency room of a hospital as stitches may be necessary.

PROLONGED BLEEDING FOLLOWING AN EXTRACTION: Place a gauze pad or better still a moistened tea bag over the socket and have the patient bite down gently on it for 30to 45 minutes. The tannic acid in the tea seeps into the tissues and often helps stop the bleeding. If bleeding continues after two hours, call the dentist or take patient to the emergency room of the nearest hospital.

BROKEN JAW: If you suspect the patient's jaw is broken, bring the upper and lower teeth together. Put a necktie, handkerchief or towel under the chin, tying it over the head to immobilize the jaw until you can get the patient to a dentist or the emergency room of a hospital.

PAINFUL ERUPTING TOOTH: In young children teething pain can come from a loose baby tooth or from an erupting permanent tooth. Some relief can be given by crushing a little ice and wrapping it in gauze or a clean piece of cloth and putting it directly on the tooth or gum tissue where it hurts. The numbing effect of the cold,along with an appropriate dose of aspirin, usually provides temporary relief.

In young adults, an erupting 3rd molar (Wisdom tooth), especially if it is impacted, can cause the jaw to swell and be quite painful. Often the gum around the tooth will show signs of infection. Temporary relief can be had by giving aspirin or some other painkiller and by dissolving an aspirin in half a glass of warm water and holding this solution in the mouth over the sore gum. AGAIN DO NOT PLACE A TABLET DIRECTLY OVER THE GUM OR CHEEK OR USE THE ASPIRIN SOLUTION ANY STRONGER THAN RECOMMENDED TO PREVENT BURNING THE TISSUE. The swelling of the jaw can be reduced by using an ice pack on the outside of the face (At intervals of ten minutes on and ten minutes off.

COLD SORES, CANKER SORES AND FEVER BLISTERS: Sores in the mouth, lips or tongue can be caused by many reasons, irritation, injuries which bruise or cut the lip or just a run-down condition. The germs which cause most of these sores are always laying just below the surface waiting for a chance to flare up. Usually these lesions last five days no matter what you put on them. Such preparations as Blistex, Carmex, Butyn Dental Ointment or Spirits of Camphor will relieve pain but it is doubtful whether they cause them to heal any sooner. New studies suggest that high levels of another amino acid, arginine can give the body increased resistance to these painful mouth and lip sores.

Generally, when confronted by a dental emergency, you can only relieve the pain and give temporary treatment until the patient can see their dentist. Sometimes, as was the case in Tom and Sylvia's family, fast prompt emergency treatment can spell the difference between permanently losing a tooth and saving it.

Reprinted from American Survival Guide July 1991



It is more difficult for you to satisfy your basic water, food, and shelter needs in a cold environment than in a warm environment. Even if you have the basic requirements, you must also have adequate protective clothing and the will to survive. The will to survive is as important as the basic needs. There have been incidents when trained and well-equipped individuals have not survived cold weather situations because they lacked the will to live. Conversely, this will has sustained individuals less well-trained and equipped.

There are many different items of cold weather equipment and clothing issued by the U.S. Army today. Specialized units may have access to newer, lightweight gear such as polypropylene underwear, GORE-TEX outerwear and boots, and other special equipment. Remember, however, the older gear will keep you warm as long as you apply a few cold weather principles. If the newer types of clothing are available, use them. If not, then your clothing should be entirely wool, with the possible exception of a windbreaker.

You must not only have enough clothing to protect you from the cold, you must also know how to maximize the warmth you get from it. For example, always keep your head covered. You can lose 40 to 45 percent of body heat from an unprotected head and even more from the unprotected neck, wrist, and ankles. These areas of the body are good radiators of heat and have very little insulating fat. The brain is very susceptible to cold and can stand the least amount of cooling. Because there is much blood circulation in the head, most of which is on the surface, you can lose heat quickly if you do not cover your head.

There are four basic principles to follow to keep warm. An easy way to remember these basic principles is to use the word COLD--

C - Keep clothing clean.

O - Avoid overheating.

L - Wear clothes loose and in layers.

D - Keep clothing dry.


Keep clothing clean. This principle is always important for sanitation and comfort. In winter, it is also important from the standpoint of warmth. Clothes matted with dirt and grease lose much of their insulation value. Heat can escape more easily from the body through the clothing's crushed or filled up air pockets.


Avoid overheating. When you get too hot, you sweat and your clothing absorbs the moisture. This affects your warmth in two ways: dampness decreases the insulation quality of clothing, and as sweat evaporates, your body cools. Adjust your clothing so that you do not sweat. Do this by partially opening your parka or jacket, by removing an inner layer of clothing, by removing heavy outer mittens, or by throwing back your parka hood or changing to lighter headgear. The head and hands act as efficient heat dissipaters when overheated.


Wear your clothing loose and in layers. Wearing tight clothing and footgear restricts blood circulation and invites cold injury. It also decreases the volume of air trapped between the layers, reducing its insulating value. Several layers of lightweight clothing are better than one equally thick layer of clothing, because the layers have dead-air space between them. The dead-air space provides extra insulation. Also, layers of clothing allow you to take off or add clothing layers to prevent excessive sweating or to increase warmth.


Keep clothing dry. In cold temperatures, your inner layers of clothing can become wet from sweat and your outer layer, if not water repellent, can become wet from snow and frost melted by body heat. Wear water repellent outer clothing, if available. It will shed most of the water collected from melting snow and frost. Before entering a heated shelter, brush off the snow and frost. Despite the precautions you take, there will be times when you cannot keep from getting wet. At such times, drying your clothing may become a major problem. On the march, hang your damp mittens and socks on your rucksack. Sometimes in freezing temperatures, the wind and sun will dry this clothing. You can also place damp socks or mittens, unfolded, near your body so that your body heat can dry them. In a campsite, hang damp clothing inside the shelter near the top, using drying lines or improvised racks. You may even be able to dry each item by holding it before an open fire. Dry leather items slowly. If no other means are available for drying your boots, put them between your sleeping bag shell and liner. Your body heat will help to dry the leather.

A heavy, down-lined sleeping bag is a valuable piece of survival gear in cold weather. Ensure the down remains dry. If wet, it loses a lot of its insulation value. If you do not have a sleeping bag, you can make one out of parachute cloth or similar material and natural dry material, such as leaves, pine needles, or moss. Place the dry material between two layers of the material.

Other important survival items are a knife; waterproof matches in a waterproof container, preferably one with a flint attached; a durable compass; map; watch; waterproof ground cloth and cover; flashlight; binoculars; dark glasses; fatty emergency foods; food gathering gear; and signaling items.

Remember, a cold weather environment can be very harsh. Give a good deal of thought to selecting the right equipment for survival in the cold. If unsure of an item you have never used, test it in an "overnight backyard" environment before venturing further. Once you have selected items that are essential for your survival, do not lose them after you enter a cold weather environment.