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Saturday, May 18, 2013


Let me preface this article with a caveat: WonderWife and I are preppers. Yup, you heard me right. We’re part of a growing movement in this country that gets laughed at, teased and generally treated like we’re insane. We are neither insane nor are we paranoid. We just believe in being prepared for whatever. Like, say, the coming zombie apocalypse.

Being a prepper is akin to playing LIFEBOAT. You start off with a list of “must-have” things and then start paring the list down to what you actually need, bearing in mind that you might just have to carry everything on your back and planning for that. Not everybody wants to devote that sort of time and effort to planning for something that might not happen, but it’s fascinating to see what you really need as opposed to what you only think you want. WonderWife and I do a lot of camping. We’ve dedicated, literally, years to finding the perfect mix of foods – fruits, veggies, meat products, spices, etc. – that we can carry and that we will also enjoy eating. Suprizingly enough, when I started doing the research for this particular article (which, incidentally, is turning into a whole SERIES of articles), I found that there are a lot more people out there that believe in being prepared for catastrophes of whatever sort, and who act accordingly.

For example, the Mormon Church is very much into every family having at least a 3 month supply of canned and dried foods for every member. I sorta vaguely knew this, since I got a lot of Mormon relatives, but it wasn’t until BabyBrotherA joined the Mormon Church that I really got interested. I REALLY hate to plug Glenn Beck for any reason, but he’s got the right of it. Everybody needs to have a cache of canned and dried goods in case of disaster. I know that we’d have been in really bad shape, for example, if we hadn’t had a lot of dried foodstuffs and water purification gear when Hurricane Ike hit the Texas coastline in 2009, for example. We never lost water, but we cooked on camp stoves for the 22 days it took the power company to restore power to our neighborhood. Using a water purification system is a great way to stay hydrated without having to boil water, for example, and it keeps the water clean without exposing it to bacteria that come into play in the cooled water.

As I said, I got interested in the subject, and was really quite surprized to find that there are a LOT more of me and WonderWife out there than I would ever have thought. So, I’m putting up a beginning basic kitchen list in this article. These are things that everybody should have.

Key points to consider when starting an emergency food pantry are:

Stock emergency foods that will not require refrigeration, and should require little electricity or fuel to prepare.

Additionally, the foodstuffs should have a long shelf life.

They should provide ample nutrition and contain little salt.

The following foods are all popular food staples that should be considered as “must haves” for your emergency pantries. The advantage to storing these items is they encompass all of the key consideration points listed above. Best of all, these items are very affordable and versatile, thus making them worthy of being on your storage shelves for extended emergencies.

Stock up on the following items today to get your prepper pantry ready for the next extended emergency:

1. Dried fruits, vegetables, meats, and soups.
2. Dried legumes (beans, lentils, peas)
3. Crackers
4. Nuts
5. Pasta sauce/tomato sauce or paste
6. Peanut butter
7. Pasta
8. Flour (white, whole wheat)
9. Seasonings (vanilla, salt, pepper, paprika, cinnamon, pepper, taco seasoning, etc.)
10. Sugar
11. Bouillon cubes or granules (chicken, vegetable, beef) IF you can find this staple as being salt-free or low sodium, pay the extra money and get it
12. Kitchen staples (baking soda, baking powder, yeast, vinegar)
13. Honey
14. Unsweetened cocoa powder
15. Jell-O or pudding mixes
16. Whole grains (barley, bulgur, cornmeal, couscous, oats, quinoa, rice, wheat berries)
17. Nonfat dried milk
18. Plant-based oil (corn oil, vegetable oil, coconut oil, olive oil)
19. Cereals
20. Seeds for eating and sprouting
21. Popcorn (not the microwavable kind)
22. Instant potato flakes
23. Packaged meals, like mac & cheese, ramen noodles, noodle cups, MREs and so on
24. At least 2 gallons of purified water, per person. PLUS: A water purification kit/kits. You can get a Brita water pitcher and make sure to have at least 5 filters.
25. Dried fruit juices, teas, coffee, drink mixes

Bear in mind that this is a pretty standard list, and there are literally thousands of web sites where you can go to get the information that you need. What’s interesting is just how closely it mirrors the list of necessary things that the wagon trains started out with, at least as far as food items are concerned. You can find a complete list of everything that our pioneer forebearers were told to bring (including tools and furniture items) at these web sites:

Being a prepper these days is a WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLE lot easier than it was for the wagon train pioneers! There are a lot of other things that you’ll need besides these things – like camp utensils, plates, paper products and so on, but I’ll cover that in other articles.

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