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Prepping For SHTF

A Survivalist Guide to Stockpiling Food For SHTF and TEOTWAWKI

There is an interesting thread in the Survivalist Forum about Food Preps. Some of the topics being discussed are stockpiling food such as canned goods, stockpiling dried or vacuum sealed foods, buying MREs (Meals Ready to Eat), canning your own food, stockpiling family sized or #10 cans of food, or something else.

Regardless of how much food you stockpile, its impossible to stockpile enough food for a lifetime.

Home grown snap beans

Here is what my food preps look like:

  • Canned goods bought from local grocery store
  • Dried foods – dried beans, dried rice, and the such stored in mylar bags
  • MREs and Eversafe meals
  • Stockpiling as much seed as possible – beans, peas, corn, squash, okra, radishes,,, only to name a few.
  • Food stored in #10 cans
  • Freeze dried food in pouches with a 30 year life span
  • Fruit trees
  • Chickens
  • Garden
  • Farming tools

Canned goods and dried foods are not a self sustaining food supply – once you eat them, they are gone. You are not going to be able to plant an empty bean can, and expect it to sprout a bean plant; which will grow more canned beans – that is not the way it happens.

Stocking up on canned goods, dried foods, vacuum sealed foods, is a dead end. Regardless of how long your food supply will last – 3 months, 6 months, 8 months, 12 months, its going to come to an end sooner or later.

This is where stockpiling open pollinated seeds comes in. This can give you an unlimited supply of food, if you take care of the plants and seeds. But first, you have to learn how to grow the plants and harvest the seeds.

Go back and take a look at mankind 2,000 years ago. The Romans did not have a china-mart to buy rice or canned beans from. They had farmers that raised their own food.

If a wide spread disaster happens, the only long term food prep option is to have your own seeds to plant your own garden.

But, while you and your family are busy planting your garden, you will to have some kind of food stocks.

MREs / Pre-Packaged Meals

Examples can include the Just in Case Meals from, the good ole military Meal Ready to Eat, Eversafe Meals, Sure-Pak MREs, Mainstay meals and everything in between.

One thing that I really like about the pre-packaged meals, they can be handed out members of the group, and eaten when their ready. Communal cooking and eating is good, but not everyone is ready to eat at the same time. Having their own meals allows people to snack or eat their meals when their ready – on top of the communal meals.

A case of MREs contains 12 packaged meals. Because each package contains so much food it in, each MRE might contain 1.25 – 2 servings. Depending on the activity level of the person, they might eat more or less of the MRE. But for the sake of discussion lets say that the average person only eats 75% of everything in the MRE – leaving the desert, beans, cracker, snack bread or peanut butter for later. This means that a case of MREs might feed 1 person for 5 – 7 days.

Related Article: MRE VS Freeze Dried: Which Is Better For Stockpiling

Food Stored in Mylar Bags

This usually includes dried foods such as rice, beans, oats, salt, sugar and whatever else can be stored in a mylar bag.

Care must be given not to store food products with animal by-products, such as dried milk or butter. The animal fats can go rancid over the years and poison the food. When storing food items such as mashed potatoes, read the labels, and exclude any product that list animal fats.

For people starting out with mylar bags, I like to suggest that their first bags be 1/2 gallon and 1 gallon in size. Starting out with 5 gallon bags might prove to be frustrating. The second time I tried storing foo din mylar bags, I made some superpails, and I do not think the project turned out very well.

Some of the food I store in mylar bags:

  • Rice
  • Oats
  • Pinto Beans
  • Rolled Oats
  • Quick Oats
  • Pasta

Do not store anything with animal products in mylar bags. The fats will possibly breakdown and go rancid.

#10 Cans

There are 2 types of #10 cans – freeze dried and dehydrated. Freeze dried foods have a shelf life of up to 25 years when stored in ideal conditions. Dehydrated has anywhere from a 5 – 10 year shelf life when stored in ideal conditions.

If you want to have survival food preps that will last 10+ years, freeze dried food in #10 cans is the way to go.

When I started my #10 stockpile, I started out with breakfast. The first meal of the day sets the pace for the rest of the day.

#10 can breakfast examples:

  • Scrambled eggs and ham
  • Scrambled eggs and bacon
  • Granola
  • Powered milk
  • Powdered orange drink

#10 can lunch and dinner examples:

  • Chili mac and cheese
  • Beef stew
  • Broccoli
  • Sliced strawberries
  • Spaghetti with meat and sauce
  • Noodles and chicken
  • Chicken and rice
  • Chicken ala king and noodles

Stockpiling Seeds

Storing food will only support you for so long. Once that MRE or #10 can has been eaten, what are you going to do now?

If your long term survival plans go past a few month, you are going to have to raise your own food. The only food solution for long term survival, is growing your own.

My survival seed stockpile includes:
G-90 – Hybrid sweet corn
Truckers Favorite – Open pollinated field corn
Yellow Dent – Open pollinated field corn

Peas and Beans:
Roma II – snap bean
Mississippi purple hull pink eye
Contender bush bean
Blue lake bush bean
Pinto beans – One thing to take into consideration is pinto beans, which are high in protein. So if there is no meat, pinto beans can be eaten.

Straight neck Squash
Crook neck Squash
Acorn Squash
Couple of hybrids
Various types of winter Squash

One thing to keep in mind with Squash and Zucchini – they can cross pollinate. The harvested seeds will be a hybrid, and may or may not not be viable. Even if the harvested seeds are viable, the harvested seeds of the second generation may or may not be viable.

Giant noble spinach

Mustard greens
7 top turnips

Stockpiling Food

The goal is to stockpile a variety of food, and enough seeds for a renewable food source from the garden.  Then there are the eggs from the chickens and the chickens themselves.

My current chicken flock is around 35 laying hens and three roosters.


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