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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2015 9:36 am 
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Just to be up-front I'm not really a prepper, although I enjoy this site a great deal. I came here to get input on a specific question for a novel and hung around because it is one of the nicest and informative forums I have found in the last decade.

However, I live in the country in a very lovely spot which has the advantage/ disadvantage of having literally only one way in and out (by road). bad weather, particularly ice, can cut us off. Being Texas, said cut-off is usually 24 hours at most, so its not been a big issue.

However a HAZMAT class has gotten me thinking about getting cut off for a longer period, and I am looking at laying in a ten-day supply of food for long storage. The rest of the stuff I should stock I either already have or gotten good advice from existing threads.

My question is this: what is a good, affordable long-shelf-life food brand? No dietary restrictions involved.

I've looked around on the Net, but there's hundred of brands and types, from emergency bars to stuff that sounds like five star dining to MREs.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2015 9:51 am 
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Bwahaha! This is how it starts...

An ice storm made me a prepper. I live in the suburbs of Portland, OR, one tenth of a mile from a grocery store. A long time ago, I couldn't imagine a situation where I couldn't just walk to the store and get what I needed. Then the 2003 ice storm hit, and for literally 7 days it was not safe to walk that tenth of a mile. And I had no groceries at the start of the storm. I ate all that crap you have sitting around your kitchen, the stuff that's a leeetle bit past its expiration date. On the last day, I found myself staring at a box of dried spaghetti and a couple packets of hot cocoa mix and wondering how I was going to make a meal out of that.

I decided this was not a question any human being ought to ask themselves, and I became a prepper. Good news is, when the ice storms of 2004 and 2008 hit, I was golden.

But back to your question. What time period are you considering? Many canned goods are fine for a couple years, and the easiest way to prep for short-term disasters is to simply increase the amount of food in your cupboards. Store a month (or two... or three...) of staples. Pasta. Spaghetti sauce. Beans. Make sure you have enough water on hand, too, and some way of preparing your food without electricity. (Eg, manual can opener, a way to cook like a gas grill) Have a good first aid kit.

If you rotate your food (eat the oldest first), you won't waste food and you'll have enough on hand to weather most disasters. You can start easy (a week, for an ice storm) and build up from there (3-4 months for the Cascadia earthquake).


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2015 10:01 am 
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I've got the other stuff I need (water, etc). Power's not an issue, really. Earthquakes & flooding are not viable concerns, and the odds of an ice storm lasting more than a couple days isn't really viable (our last ice storm, a record one, hit on a Thursday, and that Saturday's high was 78).

I considered the canned food option, but there are several problems with it:

1) Space. Both of us have hobbies and interests which makes storage a premium, and even though there's just the two of us my wife has an iron-clad rule that it must be out of sight.

2) We don't eat a lot of canned food, so trying to rotate out canned goods isn't really practical. I want to get something I can store in the hall closet and forget about until 2019.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2015 12:07 pm 
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For long-term storage, I am a big fan of freeze dried foods, they keep practically forever if unopened and they taste great. We usually buy a "Combo" case of 6 #10 cans when they are on sale. We have a good combination of dried Dairy (and eggs), fruit, veggies and some meat. The meat is pricey so we added a couple of cases of meat flavored TVP to use as a protein filler. We have had great luck with Honeyville Grain and their shipping is very low http://shop.honeyville.com/

For medium-term we have a mix of canned foods as well as MRE's. MRE's are expensive but do have their own advantages. We rotate them out on camping trips.

We also do canning, which if you don't like store bought canned foods, you can typically adapt your favorite recipes to a canning recipe. When ground beef is on sale we will put up several quarts of homemade spaghetti sauce or chili (without the beans, we add them later).

Of course, rice, beans and pasta have very long shelf life if kept perfectly dry.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2015 12:15 pm 
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Garand69 wrote:
For long-term storage, I am a big fan of freeze dried foods, they keep practically forever if unopened and they taste great. We usually buy a "Combo" case of 6 #10 cans when they are on sale. We have a good combination of dried Dairy (and eggs), fruit, veggies and some meat. The meat is pricey so we added a couple of cases of meat flavored TVP to use as a protein filler. We have had great luck with Honeyville Grain and their shipping is very low http://shop.honeyville.com/

For medium-term we have a mix of canned foods as well as MRE's. MRE's are expensive but do have their own advantages. We rotate them out on camping trips.

We also do canning, which if you don't like store bought canned foods, you can typically adapt your favorite recipes to a canning recipe. When ground beef is on sale we will put up several quarts of homemade spaghetti sauce or chili (without the beans, we add them later).

Of course, rice, beans and pasta have very long shelf life if kept perfectly dry.


We live in Texas, where chili does not have 'beans'. :roll: :wink:

Honeyville looks promising. I forwarded it to my wife to see if that will work for her.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2015 12:23 pm 
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Since you seem to have your answer, all I have to add is....

So it begins.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2015 12:28 pm 
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[/quote]We live in Texas, where chili does not have 'beans'. :roll: :wink:

Honeyville looks promising. I forwarded it to my wife to see if that will work for her.[/quote]

:lol: No problem there! But beans make one heck of a meal stretcher when your low on meat! :wink:

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2015 12:28 pm 
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TheZone wrote:
We live in Texas, where chili does not have 'beans'. :roll: :wink:



I wonder how hard it would be to freeze-dry a cow? :clownshoes:

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2015 12:34 pm 
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And if space is at a premium, a good idea is to store things under your bed. Add a dust ruffle and no one will see a thing!


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2015 12:39 pm 
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Rugger wrote:
Since you seem to have your answer, all I have to add is....

So it begins.


Well, I live in the country and I own a lot of guns.... :)

But my bag is a bug-in bag; as a police officer I go towards, not away, as it were. :wink:

I'm not cut out to be a prepper. If society collapses I will die with it, either due to my job, or the meds I need for long-term survival. To be a prepper you have to believe in a future beyond the event.

Plus, frankly, I'm too old to really worry about the future.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2015 12:44 pm 
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Ditto to what others have said. Mountain House has 10 to 12 serving Cans that have a 25 year shelf life. I am starting to see these cans available in retail chains like REI, Cabelas, and Walmart(online-ship to store). The pouches are even more available and have a 7 year shelf life. Just have a big pantry of regular food for the house and a couple of cans of Mountain House just in case and you can call it done.

They do have a Chili Mac, which is pretty tasty, but it does contain both beans and macaroni....sorry for the sacrilege


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2015 4:05 pm 
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TheZone wrote:
My question is this: what is a good, affordable long-shelf-life food brand? No dietary restrictions involved.

I've looked around on the Net, but there's hundred of brands and types, from emergency bars to stuff that sounds like five star dining to MREs.

*snip*
1) Space. Both of us have hobbies and interests which makes storage a premium, and even though there's just the two of us my wife has an iron-clad rule that it must be out of sight.

2) We don't eat a lot of canned food, so trying to rotate out canned goods isn't really practical. I want to get something I can store in the hall closet and forget about until 2019.

*snip*
Plus, frankly, I'm too old to really worry about the future.


Before I start:
Handbook To Practical Disaster Preparedness For The Family by Arthur T Bradley PhD. It's a book written for every day people as a way to help them learn what to plan for and how to plan. This is the kind of book I would suggest to anyone who isn't a hardcore prepper. There is no fear mongering, nothing is crazy or over the top. It's like $20 and Amazon will bring it right to your door. It includes a chapter about food and a bunch of other useful info in other chapters.

It's hard to give suggestions that will meet your qualifications when we don't know exactly how to meet your standards.

What kind of time duration are you looking for? This is a very important factor for this kind of thing. You specifically mention 5 years. Is that going to be an ideal rotation time? Some foods last 1 or 2 years. Some foods are good for about 5 years. Others can last about 10 years. Some will last about 25 years or longer.

How much room do you have for space? It's a clear concern. It isn't going to do me much good to look up a bunch of options for you that are stored in 5 gallon containers if there's no way you can make use of them.

What temperatures will the food be stored in? This can dramatically change the expected life of foods. You mention you're somewhere in Texas. If you're going to store this food in a location where the temperatures are going to get into the 100s for a couple months a year that's going to reduce the potential life span of your food.

Canned foods are a very basic food for storage. You don't really eat canned foods. I get that. Do you typically eat freeze dried foods? Nope? So, it's kinda the same thing, right? If the things you already commonly ate lasted a decade you would be less likely to be asking this question in the first place. There may need to be a little give and take when it comes to finding long term rations.

A thing you want to think about along with what you eat will be how you will prepare it. Food is a resource you want to have. In order to make use of that resource you also need resources to heat up (most) food. These can include water for preparation or hydration. These can include fuel and a stove for heating. This sort of thing makes preparation instructions and cook time very important because if something has happened and you don't have access to regular food, you may not also have access to municipal gas for the stove or electricity for the stove or municipal water from the faucet (the other things are all very unlikely, but things to consider).

Another thing you'll want to think about is how much you will be eating per day. When you plan out this food you will likely want to think of a general caloric intake per person per day. A serving of one thing may be 150 calories. A serving of another thing will be 700 calories. You want to make sure you're understanding what you're getting. Of course there's more to nutrition than just caloric intake, but it's a good place to start.

I cannot recommend this strongly enough: What ever it is you're considering getting, try to do a taste test of some sort to see if you like it at all before you buy a bunch of it. Also, don't forget that you can always doctor the flavors of things with seasoning and such. Some foods aren't very tasty until you make adjustments to them. So, buy a little of a thing and eat it when there is no emergency, do you like it? Do you think you can make it more palatable with seasoning? If you're happy with that thing you can get more for storage with confidence.

It's possible to package some things in number 10 cans with mylar bags and packaged with oxygen absorbers and they will last much, much longer than just slapping them in a basic airtight container.

* Beans will last about a year in an airtight container.
* Cornmeal will last about a year in an airtight container.
* Grits will last about a year in an airtight container
* Jelly/Jam lasts about a year before opening
* Condensed unopened milk will last about a year
* Evaporated unopened milk will last about a year
* Unopened molasses will last about a year
* Dry soup mix will last about a year
* Uncooked pasta in an airtight container can last about 2 years.
* White rice will last about 2 years in an airtight container.
* Nuts in a vaccuum can will last 1-3 years
* Honey will last years
* Canned fish will last about 5 years (some variation exists)
* Unopened canned foods will last about 5 years fairly readily (some variation exists)
* Ovaeasy makes crystalized eggs (similar but different from and better than powdered eggs). They taste great, they can be used for regular cooking. Small bags last 2.5 years. Cans last about 7 years.

You can dehydrate foods yourself and they'll last a year or two. A lot of this can be eaten with zero additional preparation.

Some professionally dehydrated foods (this isn't the same as freeze dried) can last about 10 years. A lot of this can be eaten with zero additional preparation.

MREs last about 5 years after the date of packaging (if stored at about 50 F). The potential life is dropped dramatically based on the temps it's stored in. These can be eaten cold. Some will come with heaters (that require a few ounces of water to activate), and some will be sold without a heater.

People love to talk about the coast guard rations. They will last about 5 years, but they're nasty. These are designed to not make you thirsty when you eat them, so that's a plus. Functionally, they're basically a gross long lasting cookie.

A company named Millennial makes a bar that lasts about 5 years.

Many freeze dried bags of food will last 5-7 years. I'm very fond of Mountain House. I also like Backpacker's Pantry. Not all of this stuff is equal even by brand. Some of the meals are great (everyone loves the Chili Mac) and some of the stuff is terrible (no one really likes anything with eggs). These things typically require adding about 8 ounces of boiling water as the only preparation.

Number 10 cans (this refers to a type of airtight container) of freeze dried food will last about 25 years. I've eaten a bunch of bags of Mountain House means but not tried any of the number 10 can contents.


Some people like to jar or can things themselves. If done properly these things can last for many years. If that's a thing you're curious about or interested in just ask and I'm sure there are experts on the board who can help you with specifics! The nice thing about this is that you can can or jar things that you're already making in your kitchen. This way you know you'll like what you have stored.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2015 4:16 pm 
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zero11010 wrote:
What kind of time duration are you looking for? This is a very important factor for this kind of thing. You specifically mention 5 years. Is that going to be an ideal rotation time? Some foods last 1 or 2 years. Some foods are good for about 5 years. Others can last about 10 years. Some will last about 25 years or longer.


A 5 year shelf life seems to be fine. I have a link to SOS CG-approved emergency bars which look workable.

http://www.amazon.com/S-O-S-Rations-Eme ... 855&sr=1-1

Small, cheap, decent shelf life. Amazon rates them highly.

zero11010 wrote:
How much room do you have for space? It's a clear concern. It isn't going to do me much good to look up a bunch of options for you that are stored in 5 gallon containers if there's no way you can make use of them.


Well, I figure the lower half of a linen closet ought to do it. We only need 8-10 days' worth, after all. And closet space is a touchy issue given the number of shoes my wife has.

Those bars above don't take up hardly any space. Toss in a couple flats of water bottles, canned tuna for the cats, and Bob's your uncle.

zero11010 wrote:
What temperatures will the food be stored in? This can dramatically change the expected life of foods. You mention you're somewhere in Texas. If you're going to store this food in a location where the temperatures are going to get into the 100s for a couple months a year that's going to reduce the potential life span of your food.


Its indoors. Figure a median temp of 70 or less.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2015 7:10 pm 
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I'm not really sure what "half a linen closet" amounts to in cubic inches or how much space you may have on each shelf. But, we're not talking about a shoe box, and we're not talking about an empty garage, so it's something to work with!

Water:
Water is a whole topic that hasn't really been gotten into yet.

24oz water per person per day for drinking is a good place to start. That's a general idea (the classic notion of 1 gallon per person per day includes cooking and cleaning and such). Some people will want more/less, and you should know your personal preferences better than anyone else, so if you know you need double that, then double it. If you're at home you may not be running mile after mile unexpectedly. If it's you and your wife and you want 10 days of water you want 480oz water (assuming 24oz per person per day for 10 days). That's 4 gallons. This means you need 4 gallons of water plus any water you will need for cooking.

Water does not keep in bottles indefinitely, and not all bottles are safe to store water in for long term. The common rule of thumb is 6-12 months if stored in a cool place and out of direct sunlight. If you plan to store water for years at a time you will want to consider how to safely do that. Some people will suggest you don't need to do anything to the water if it tastes fine (these people are ignorant because you cannot taste all of the things that will make you sick - so if you're not going to fork out money to get the water tested for pathogens you're going to want a method of treatment). You can store the water with a small amount of bleach (something like 16 drops per gallon of water, the exact amount is very important so don't take my "something like 16" as gospel). You can also plan to use a decent water filter to filter your water after it has sat (a common kitchen water filter is not designed to remove the right things and will not work for this purpose). You can plan to boil your water after it has sat, but remember this will require a bunch of fuel.

A brand of water container I like for long term water storage is Reliance. They make great 5 and 7 gallon containers. There are a bunch of collapsing water storage containers on Amazon, none of them are particularly durable.

Consider the food you have available and how much water it requires to cook each meal.

Additional water needed will be based on a lot of personal choices. Do you want water to take any kind of shower? Do you want water to do any cleaning (realistically, you may need to clean some dishes if nothing else)? Figure out how much water you need for that and store that amount also.

Food:
The SOS bars you linked may work. Make sure you buy a small amount and try them first. You see from the label that the suggested quantity is three 410 calorie bars per day (1230 calories per person per day), and you can see on that label that the ingredients show that these are basically just a shortbread cookie. I promise you won't want to only eat these things for 10 days straight though.
Datrex Bar Review - dude eats only the suggested amount of emergency bar per day for 72 hours. This is day three. Day one and day two are both available if you want to watch them.


Mayday Bar Review - dude eats only the suggested amount of emergency bar per day for 72 hours. This is day three. Day one and day two are both available if you want to watch them.


Mainstay Bar Review - dude eats only the suggested amount of emergency bar per day for 72 hours. This is day three. Day one and day two are both available if you want to watch them.


You'll notice that in each of those tests the guy felt like crap after 3 days. There is almost no nutritional value in the bars, so it isn't a whole lot different than just eating a few shortbread cookies per day (they're empty calories and your body is still breaking itself down for nutrition). A third of the bar is sugar and that's where a lot of the calories are coming from. I think you and your wife would get more nutritional value out of each 4.5 Snickers bars each per day (9 total per day would be roughly the same caloric intake, but more of the protein and fat your body needs, while only a tiny bit more sugar).

So, go with those bars if you'd like, but don't let yourself think that it will be like eating real food. Now, if you're stuck on the idea of those bars, what you can do is use those bars to supplement other food! Freeze dried meals, cans of food or things like that. You can plan on having one meal a day be one of those ration bars and eat something more substantial for the other couple meals per day (or the other way around if you prefer).

----------------------------------
The first thing I'd suggest you do is just store a little extra of the food you normally eat. Don't separate it into a linen closet. If you guys normally have 2 pounds of rice and 3 or 4 pounds of pasta in the pantry, well start holding on to 5 pounds of rice and 6-8 pounds of pasta. It's stuff you (likely) already use. The only difference is that when you get down to only having 2 pounds you go get more rather than waiting until you're actually out. The point of emergency food is making sure your food will last for a number of days if you're unable to readily go visit a store. The point of emergency food is not to have food in the house so if you vanish for 3 years and show up one day you still have a few days of food to eat.

If you are nervous about expiration dates and have the room you can consider something like this:
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I know you said you don't like cans. The idea here is that the oldest food is always in front and the newest things you've purchased go up top and that idea can be applied to other things.M


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2015 7:18 pm 
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I mean, I don't want to sound like I'm oversimplifying it...

But what's wrong with a bucket or 2 of Mountain House or Wise foods?? Like 20-25 year shelf life, pretty tasty, compact as it is dehydrated, comes in a cute container. Viola, done!!!

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TheZone wrote:
My question is this: what is a good, affordable long-shelf-life food brand? No dietary restrictions involved.

I've looked around on the Net, but there's hundred of brands and types, from emergency bars to stuff that sounds like five star dining to MREs.


#1 first place you should hit up is the LDS home storage centers.
I am not a member of the LDS church but they are one of the best food prep resources out there for preppers or folks like you wanting to get some food preps.
You can order some of their stuff online here http://store.lds.org/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Category3_715839595_10557_3074457345616706237_-1_N_image_0
For more choices you can visit one of their locations. http://providentliving.org/self-reliance/food-storage/home-storage-center-locations?lang=eng#Eastern%20US
To see what is available and the pricing at the centers you can download a PDF order form from this page http://providentliving.org/self-reliance/food-storage/home-storage-center-order-form?lang=eng

There are several locations in Texas, see if there is one near you. It would be worth a trip. The LDS home storage centers don't preach to you, they just help get you stocked up on food and will even offer you recipes to prepare the goods. You would be hard pressed to find cheaper easier long term food stores.

The LDS goods offered are not necessarily the ready to eat stuff like MREs or Mountain house, though they do have spaghetti bites which is a ready to eat food. But it is stuff that will last a lot longer and is a lot cheaper, much of their stuff has shelf lives of 30 years. This means you can stock up a lot more basic foods a lot faster with less waste. Then after you feel you have a comfortable level of these basic goods, start shopping for some of the prepared meals and more gourmet food options out there.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2015 7:35 pm 
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crypto wrote:
TheZone wrote:
We live in Texas, where chili does not have 'beans'. :roll: :wink:



I wonder how hard it would be to freeze-dry a cow? :clownshoes:


While not a whole cow, it can be done. http://shop.honeyville.com/freeze-dried-beef-dices.html

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2015 8:23 pm 
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I don't know what you're looking to spend, but if you go to the bug out deals site, one of the guys posted yesterday 30% off everything in their store. They have #10 tins of all kinds of food. I bought some from camping survival I believe and they had the Mountain House meals so you know it'll be pretty good. Only problem is that it's a bit spendy, but if you just want the convenience of open and eat with water.... that's gonna be the best way.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2015 10:36 pm 
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zero11010 wrote:
I'm not really sure what "half a linen closet" amounts to in cubic inches or how much space you may have on each shelf. But, we're not talking about a shoe box, and we're not talking about an empty garage, so it's something to work with!

Water:
Water is a whole topic that hasn't really been gotten into yet.

24oz water per person per day for drinking is a good place to start. That's a general idea (the classic notion of 1 gallon per person per day includes cooking and cleaning and such). Some people will want more/less, and you should know your personal preferences better than anyone else, so if you know you need double that, then double it. If you're at home you may not be running mile after mile unexpectedly. If it's you and your wife and you want 10 days of water you want 480oz water (assuming 24oz per person per day for 10 days). That's 4 gallons. This means you need 4 gallons of water plus any water you will need for cooking.

Water does not keep in bottles indefinitely, and not all bottles are safe to store water in for long term. The common rule of thumb is 6-12 months if stored in a cool place and out of direct sunlight. If you plan to store water for years at a time you will want to consider how to safely do that. Some people will suggest you don't need to do anything to the water if it tastes fine (these people are ignorant because you cannot taste all of the things that will make you sick - so if you're not going to fork out money to get the water tested for pathogens you're going to want a method of treatment). You can store the water with a small amount of bleach (something like 16 drops per gallon of water, the exact amount is very important so don't take my "something like 16" as gospel). You can also plan to use a decent water filter to filter your water after it has sat (a common kitchen water filter is not designed to remove the right things and will not work for this purpose). You can plan to boil your water after it has sat, but remember this will require a bunch of fuel.

A brand of water container I like for long term water storage is Reliance. They make great 5 and 7 gallon containers. There are a bunch of collapsing water storage containers on Amazon, none of them are particularly durable.

Consider the food you have available and how much water it requires to cook each meal.

Additional water needed will be based on a lot of personal choices. Do you want water to take any kind of shower? Do you want water to do any cleaning (realistically, you may need to clean some dishes if nothing else)? Figure out how much water you need for that and store that amount also.

Food:
The SOS bars you linked may work. Make sure you buy a small amount and try them first. You see from the label that the suggested quantity is three 410 calorie bars per day (1230 calories per person per day), and you can see on that label that the ingredients show that these are basically just a shortbread cookie. I promise you won't want to only eat these things for 10 days straight though.
Datrex Bar Review - dude eats only the suggested amount of emergency bar per day for 72 hours. This is day three. Day one and day two are both available if you want to watch them.


Mayday Bar Review - dude eats only the suggested amount of emergency bar per day for 72 hours. This is day three. Day one and day two are both available if you want to watch them.


Mainstay Bar Review - dude eats only the suggested amount of emergency bar per day for 72 hours. This is day three. Day one and day two are both available if you want to watch them.


You'll notice that in each of those tests the guy felt like crap after 3 days. There is almost no nutritional value in the bars, so it isn't a whole lot different than just eating a few shortbread cookies per day (they're empty calories and your body is still breaking itself down for nutrition). A third of the bar is sugar and that's where a lot of the calories are coming from. I think you and your wife would get more nutritional value out of each 4.5 Snickers bars each per day (9 total per day would be roughly the same caloric intake, but more of the protein and fat your body needs, while only a tiny bit more sugar).

So, go with those bars if you'd like, but don't let yourself think that it will be like eating real food. Now, if you're stuck on the idea of those bars, what you can do is use those bars to supplement other food! Freeze dried meals, cans of food or things like that. You can plan on having one meal a day be one of those ration bars and eat something more substantial for the other couple meals per day (or the other way around if you prefer).

----------------------------------
The first thing I'd suggest you do is just store a little extra of the food you normally eat. Don't separate it into a linen closet. If you guys normally have 2 pounds of rice and 3 or 4 pounds of pasta in the pantry, well start holding on to 5 pounds of rice and 6-8 pounds of pasta. It's stuff you (likely) already use. The only difference is that when you get down to only having 2 pounds you go get more rather than waiting until you're actually out. The point of emergency food is making sure your food will last for a number of days if you're unable to readily go visit a store. The point of emergency food is not to have food in the house so if you vanish for 3 years and show up one day you still have a few days of food to eat.

If you are nervous about expiration dates and have the room you can consider something like this:
Image
I know you said you don't like cans. The idea here is that the oldest food is always in front and the newest things you've purchased go up top and that idea can be applied to other things.M


Interesting input about the bars. I liked them because they were so small, but now I'm rethinking that after your input. Looking at the Mountain House stuff, it looks OK.

We don't normally have rice or pasta by the pound-my wife eats neither. Its just the two of us, so we usually eat fresh foods, restaurants, or take-out; Weekdays breakfast and lunch are not at home, dinner is at home maybe three times a week. Seldom do we have more than a week's worth of food on hand, and none of it is really suitable for storage longer than a few days.

Water's not much of an issue. We don't drink the local tap water because of the mineral content, but we could if need be-I was planning to have extra bottled water on hand simply because that's what we drink. The only scenario I'm pondering is the road being cut for a week or so. Admittedly its not happened in 23 years (or longer, that's just how long I've been here). In a worst case scenario I could take my boat across the lake and have a friend come get me. But if I had provisions I wouldn't have to bother. In a desperate crisis the water heaters hold quite a bit of water, as does the lake.

The linen closet is 40" x 32", and by pulling the first shelf figure 40" high. The attic is too hot, and the garage is spoken for. The rest of the closet space is spoken for. Between my wife's shoes and my toys, storage space is at a premium.

ineffableone, good tip but the LDS is out for me. Not an option.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2015 6:45 am 
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I've bought from Honeyville in the past, never had a problem with them. I would buy from them again.

I've recently switched over to buying some of my bulk items from https://ifsbulk.com/ and just putting them in mylar bags. Yes, it's not the meals you can get from Honeyville, but if you buy some of the cheaper $/pound items, it runs around $1/pound after shipping costs.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2015 8:31 am 
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NamelessStain wrote:
I've bought from Honeyville in the past, never had a problem with them. I would buy from them again.

I've recently switched over to buying some of my bulk items from https://ifsbulk.com/ and just putting them in mylar bags. Yes, it's not the meals you can get from Honeyville, but if you buy some of the cheaper $/pound items, it runs around $1/pound after shipping costs.


Honeyville looks very good, but its more bulk than I want. I'm thinking Mountain Home is more my speed given the small amount of food I'm looking at.

I've learned a lot from this thread!

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 14, 2015 10:11 am 
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TheZone wrote:
NamelessStain wrote:
I've bought from Honeyville in the past, never had a problem with them. I would buy from them again.

I've recently switched over to buying some of my bulk items from https://ifsbulk.com/ and just putting them in mylar bags. Yes, it's not the meals you can get from Honeyville, but if you buy some of the cheaper $/pound items, it runs around $1/pound after shipping costs.


Honeyville looks very good, but its more bulk than I want. I'm thinking Mountain Home is more my speed given the small amount of food I'm looking at.

I've learned a lot from this thread!


Well, for the heck of it, I measured a case of 6 #10 cans I have down in the pantry. It measures 19"X 13"X 8". That is a pretty reasonable foot print for over 200 servings of vegetables (or 150 serv. of meat, or 500 servings of dairy). The freeze dried meals have less servings but are complete. Being able to mix and match, you could put together something specific to your tastes and with 2 cases, maybe one, you could cover a decent time frame with no other additions other than water, a quality oil/fat and some seasonings.

The bars you mention would be perfect for your bug-in bag as they can handle the Texas heat while stored in your vehicle, MRE's would be dead pretty quick.

As mentioned earlier, You two have to like the food otherwise the misery factor will be through the roof. Freeze dried food regardless of where you purchase it is a bit more bulky than air-dried, but it is the closest to fresh when reconstituted. You can use it just like you do now after soaking in water. Stir fry's, soups, etc etc.

Also, if your diet is heavy on veggies and low on filler like rice and beans, you need to take that into consideration. Consider a garden for your favorite staples. While it is hard to throw a garden into your pack and go, you are saying that you are bugging in, so depending on the time of year, that could be a fair amount of food. If you have no space for that, consider growing herbs in containers and window planters. Some fresh and nutritious herbs added to whatever you choose to stock up on is another moral booster.

@ NamelessStain.... Thanks for the great link!! :D https://ifsbulk.com/

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 14, 2015 11:21 am 
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ineffableone wrote:
#1 first place you should hit up is the LDS home storage center.
I'm actually going to disagree with this in the OP's case (even if the OP hadn't said they weren't an option. OP lives in what sounds like a rural area of Texas, they might be quite a drive away, just for starters...)

I say this as somebody who is a huge fan of the LDS centers, I have a whole bunch (not a literal ton, but a lot) of their stuff. But my goals and eating/cooking patterns are TOTALLY different than the OP's, I do a ton of cooking and baking from scratch, eat out maybe once a week, use my wheat grinder weekly, and I'm working up to a year for 3 times my usual household, and I have really good space to work with for that.

The OP and his wife have some serious space constraints, are looking for less than 2 weeks of food, sound like they eat a lot of perishable foods (?paleo/primal?) and eat out over half their meals. Mad props to the OP for seeing that, if they're cut off for very long, (or not cut off but there is some more general supply chain disruption) they're going to have to do something very different from what they usually do, and preparing for it.

What the LDS absolutely excel at is 20-30 year foods - but they are very basic. Other than the powdered milk, quick oats and macaroni/spaghetti, none of the 20 year food is prepared quickly. I like Honeyville but a lot of their stuff is the same - beautiful bulk long term storage but requires significant cooking.

While I literally have none of it myself, I think for the OP & his wife to try out various freeze dried just-add-water meals like Garand69 is suggesting makes a lot of sense - in a disaster the OP may be very busy on the job, and quickly prepared stuff will be the least disruption to their lives, and may be the easiest for them to rotate when it comes up on it's shelf life. Ditto maybe trying out some MRE samplers (which I need to do! It's not our regular food but in a disaster I might not have time or fuel to cook like normal either). A pack of Daytrex bars (which I agree would be horrible if that's all you had but make a fine meal-on-the-run when you're busy, imo, I have tried them), and maybe a box of pasta and some canned soup or no-bean chili to go over it would give some variety. You can find all sorts of foods that are canned or retort packed that might match what you usually eat (I have a crate of microwavable rice packs and indian food pouches since that fits our current eating patterns).

If you don't usually eat things like spaghetti or canned no-bean chili, but would in an emergency they could be donated annually to your food shelf.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 14, 2015 11:59 am 
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Garand69 wrote:
TheZone wrote:
NamelessStain wrote:
I've bought from Honeyville in the past, never had a problem with them. I would buy from them again.

I've recently switched over to buying some of my bulk items from https://ifsbulk.com/ and just putting them in mylar bags. Yes, it's not the meals you can get from Honeyville, but if you buy some of the cheaper $/pound items, it runs around $1/pound after shipping costs.


Honeyville looks very good, but its more bulk than I want. I'm thinking Mountain Home is more my speed given the small amount of food I'm looking at.

I've learned a lot from this thread!


Well, for the heck of it, I measured a case of 6 #10 cans I have down in the pantry. It measures 19"X 13"X 8". That is a pretty reasonable foot print for over 200 servings of vegetables (or 150 serv. of meat, or 500 servings of dairy). The freeze dried meals have less servings but are complete. Being able to mix and match, you could put together something specific to your tastes and with 2 cases, maybe one, you could cover a decent time frame with no other additions other than water, a quality oil/fat and some seasonings.

The bars you mention would be perfect for your bug-in bag as they can handle the Texas heat while stored in your vehicle, MRE's would be dead pretty quick.

As mentioned earlier, You two have to like the food otherwise the misery factor will be through the roof. Freeze dried food regardless of where you purchase it is a bit more bulky than air-dried, but it is the closest to fresh when reconstituted. You can use it just like you do now after soaking in water. Stir fry's, soups, etc etc.

Also, if your diet is heavy on veggies and low on filler like rice and beans, you need to take that into consideration. Consider a garden for your favorite staples. While it is hard to throw a garden into your pack and go, you are saying that you are bugging in, so depending on the time of year, that could be a fair amount of food. If you have no space for that, consider growing herbs in containers and window planters. Some fresh and nutritious herbs added to whatever you choose to stock up on is another moral booster.

@ NamelessStain.... Thanks for the great link!! :D https://ifsbulk.com/


Well, to be honest one reason I was going to Mountain Home was simply that I didn't want to store that much food. It seemed quite a waste. 200 servings is a LOT of food.

The point about the bag, however, is genius, and I'm going to implement it at once. However, my bug-in bag isn't to get home, but to get to, and operate at, work. Its still a brilliant idea.

My diet is not heavy on veggies, but rather on meat. I'm a steak and ribs kinda guy. Its been over forty years since I tried to grow something, and it didn't end well. :wink: You must be the nth person to suggest a garden to me & my wife, given our acres and the lake, but its more work than its worth.

Good advice, though. I'm going to order one pack of the bars and taste-test them.

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