Common Long Term Food Storage Mistakes

Today I wanted to talk about some of the more common long term food storage mistakes that I see people run into when they are implementing a survival food storage system.

By knowing and understanding what could go wrong in advance you will have a much better chance of avoiding them and saving yourself a lot of time and money.

By avoiding these common mistakes and having a general understanding of how to store food long term, you will find that establishing your long term food storage is actually quite easy and will extend the life of the foods that you are storing.

Common Long Term Food Storage Mistakes

One of the most common long term food storage mistakes that people often make is storing the wrong types of food.

When preparing your survival food supply you will need to ensure that you are storing items from each of the three main food types: proteins, carbohydrates and fats.

To prevent your food supply from spoiling, you will need to store foods that have low moisture content and never build your food storage around foods that have to be refrigerated or frozen.

Even if you have a generator to keep your foods cold or frozen you will only be able to maintain the correct temperature as long as you have fuel to keep your generator running.

In the event of an extended power outage, consume the foods in your refrigerator first before going into your long term food supply as these foods will spoil the quickest and once they spoil they will provide no benefit to your survival efforts.

Investing in cheap mylar bags

Establishing a proper long term food storage can be expensive so people will often look for ways to cut costs in building up their food storage.

One of the most common mistakes I see people make when trying to cut costs is to buy cheap mylar bags to store their food in.

You may think you are getting a deal by buying thin mylar bags but this really is the one thing you do not want to skimp on and you should never buy mylar bags that are less than 5 mils thick.

Mylar bags are the one thing that is preventing your food from being exposed to air which can degrade your food.

By buying mylar bags that are less than 5 mils thick you run the risk of your bags losing their seal and letting air in.

You will find that it is actually not that much more to invest in high quality mylar bags which are much thick that cheap ones, in fact when I last ordered 5 gallon mylar bags I got 5 mil bags for around $1.50 each and 4.3 mil bags where around $1.25 each, 25 cent saving per bags is really not worth it at all.

common long term food storage mistakes

Here is a great source to find 5 mil mylar bags.

Getting the correct mylar bags is just the first step, once you get them and add food, you will have to make sure that you vacuum out all of the air and properly seal the bags to prevent air from getting in.

Its a good idea to practice sealing the bags a couple of times before you actually start sealing your food storage, there are plenty of guides and tools that make sealing the bags a breeze.

Storing your food in the wrong area

It is best to store your food in a cool and dark area away from sunlight and heat.

You should never store your food in the attic or in a room that gets direct sunlight as the heat will cause your food to lose years of life, in fact by storing your food in these areas your food could spoils up to 4 times faster than properly storing your food in a cool and dark area.

How and where you store your long term food storage is a big factor that you need to consider.

Not rotating your food supply

Not all food has the same long shelf life like grains, rice and beans so it is important that you check your food often and ensure that you are rotating out food that has a shorter shelf life like fats and certain canned foods.

It is a good idea to make a list of your food supply and put it in order by which foods will expire the soonest so you will know exactly which foods need to be rotated out.

Not having the proper tools to prepare your survival foods

This one is often overlooked, not having the proper cooking tools to prepare the food you are storing.

For instance, if you are storing white rice, you will need the proper size pot and enough water to properly prepare it.

If you are storing certain types of wheat, you may also need a wheat grinder as well as a general knowledge of how to grind wheat.

Typically a long term food storage will include foods that you are not use to eating everyday so having a knowledge of how to prepare and cook these foods is as important as the food itself.

Trying to do it all at once

If you are new to food storage you can easily become overwhelmed at the thought of just how much food you will need to store to sustain your family for 6 months or more.

I have always found that if you take baby steps you will have a much easier and more manageable experience.

To do this you should first aim for gathering a 2 week supply, then a 1 month and so on until you have your desired amount of food.

If you are on a budget then this will also make paying for your survival food supply something that can be spread out over time, plus if you make a mistake along the way, it will be much easier to correct since you are dealing with a smaller and more manageable amount of food.


Common Long Term Food Storage Mistakes

long term food storageOne of the ways that I was able to avoid so many of these mistakes was to invest in one of the long term food storage kits from Wise Food Storage who offers a complete line of food storage packages.

Let’s face it, you are going to make a few mistakes along the way, it happens when you are building your first long term food storage but by knowing these common long term food storage mistakes ahead of time you will have a much greater chance of success and your experience will be far less stressful than it has to be.

Wise Food Storage Free Sample

Want to receive a Wise Food Storage free sample, keeping reading to find out how …

One of the biggest challenges is determining which long-term food storage company to secure your family’s survival food supply from is how does the food taste.

It doesn’t matter if you are ordering a 1 week food supply or enough food to last a year, how the food tastes will have a huge impact on your survival.

Yes its true, when you are trying to keep your family safe and survival is on the line, little things like how your stroganoff tastes should not matter but you would be surprised how much it does.

Having great tasting food can give something to look forward to each day, keep spirits high and ultimately help you maintain a healthy diet that will provide you with the energy you need to keep going and focus on all the craziness that may be going on all around you.

It’s easy to determine which food is the best value for your money but how do you know what the food tastes like or what the quality is like?

Simple, you order a sample pack.

Luckily most long-term food storage companies offer sample packs or very small bundles that allows you and your family to try out the product before you make a large investment.

The Wise Food Storage free sample is a great way to see what Wise foods are all about.

By ordering your Wise Food Storage free sample and paying a small shipping and handling fee you will not only be shipped a sample of one of the top entrees from Wise but you will be added to their email list where you will be the first to know about promotions, special sales, new products and any important updates from Wise Food Storage.

A lot of the other long-term food storage companies offer sample packs through their websites or you can normally pick up a couple of packs from your local sports and outdoors store.

wise food storage free sample

Wise Food Storage Free Sample

We we were doing our research on which long-term food storage company we were going to order our food from for our family we did most of the research online by reading reviews, checking prices and looking at the company’s websites.

Once we narrowed it down to about 5 companies we started ordering sample packs to see which company had the best tasting survival food which helped us narrow it down to just 3 companies.

We felt that the three best tasting survival foods companies were Mountain House, Wise Food Storage and AlpineAires and would have been happy with either one of these companies but when we started looking at costs and value it was easy for us to see that the best value for us was with Wise Food Storage.

Yes Mountain House and AlpineAires both had great tasting entrees and breakfast items, some better than Wise Food Storage but when we did the math paying up to 20% more for the same amount of food just didn’t make sense to us based on our budget.

wise food storage review

Wise Food Storage Free Sample

We are very happy with our decision to order our long-term food supply from Wise Food Storage but just because we ordered from Wise doesn’t mean you have to.

Do your due diligence, research and find which companies you feel are best for your situation then either order or go pick up comparable samples from each company to see which ones you think taste the best.

Once you have narrowed it down by taste, start crunching the numbers and see which company has the best value for your survival foods needs.

Hopefully this post helped you in determining how to select the best long term food storage company for you and why it is important to try out the samples that are available.

If you would like to order a Wise Food Storage free sample or one of the Wise Food sampler packs click here.

Wise Food Storage Review

Hello and welcome to my Wise Food Storage Review. 

In this review I will be peeling back the curtains and showing you what you can expect if you decide to purchase your long term food storage from Wise Food Storage.

Before we get started, lets make one thing clear, if you came here looking for a sugar coated review where I parade around with pom poms cheering on Wise Food Storage, you probably are going to want to hit this back button located at the top left hand corner of your screen.

Great your still here, that means you came looking for an honest and unbiased Wise Food Storage review and that is exactly what you are about to get, let’s get started.

In this review I will be covering everything you will need to know to decide if Wise Food Storage is the right company to order your family’s long term storage from, including: wise food storage review

  • What Is Wise Food Storage
  • Selection and Quality
  • Customer Service
  • Price
  • My Experience With Wise
  • Final Thoughts

Wow, that’s a lot to cover and I know your busy so I will try my best to stay on topic and keep this as short as possible without omitting any important details.

What Is Wise Food Storage

Wise is a very unique company that stands apart from the pack in the long term food storage industry.

Founded in 2008, this Utah based company began as a door to door direct sales company and has since blossomed into one of the top and most recognizable brands in the long term food storage industry.

What made Wise Company so unique is the fact that they were the first to pack their meals in mylar metalized bags instead of the traditional #10 cans which was the industry norm at the time and all of their meals are as simple as “just add water”.

Wise also used square shaped grab and go buckets which were made to be stacked on one another instead of the traditional round 5 gallon buckets everyone was use to seeing.

Both of these ideas were adopted within the preparedness community and Wise is to thank for these contributions.

What really separated and hurt Wise from the other big names in food storage for so long was the fact that Wise only offered food while their competitors offered a full line of food and preparedness supplies.

Wise has since added many new items including water filtration devices, survival kits as well as survival stoves and preparedness seed buckets.

Today, Wise continues to grow as one of the industry leaders thanks to the simplicity and selection of their food products and the amazing value compared to similar brands on the market.

Wise Food Storage

Selection

As mentioned above, Wise packs all of their meals in 100% airtight mylar bags which extends the shelf-life.

Each bag contains between 4- 8 servings (depending on item) so there is no wasted food or eating the same variety over and over until the #10 can is empty.

Wise foods currently offers 15 Entrees, 6 Gourmet Meats, 4 Breakfasts, as well as fruits, vegetables, deserts, and beverages, this is far less of a selection that many of their competitors.

Here is a complete list of all of entrees, meats and breakfast items available from Wise Food Storage.

wise company

Wise also offers side items such as vegetables, sauces, fruits, deserts and beverages to add variety to your survival diet.

wise food storage food list

Quality

Wise uses two processes to prepare their meals, freeze-dried and dehydration depending on the results of testing and experimentation to see which method helps the food maintain its original flavor, shape, color and texture.

Typically items like fruits and vegetables and fruits are freeze dried while the rest of the ingredients are dehydrated, then the items are blended together into one meal.

Wise has a long track record of customer satisfaction with both the quality and taste of their camping and emergency preparedness meals, they have received the highest customer rating for the quality and convenience in the industry.

All Wise Food products are made with premium ingredients right here in the United States to ensure the quality, freshness, taste and long shelf-life.

Wise Meals are considered quick cook meals, which basically means that all you have to do is open the package and pour in desired amount of hot water, stirring and waiting for 10-12 minutes for the meal to be reconstituted and ready to eat.

Customer Service

I have had to contact Wise Food Storage a few times via both phone and email and have never had any issues getting my questions answered although I have read where others have had trouble using the 1-800 number.

The Wise Food Storage website is pretty clean and user friendly, you can navigate and find anything you are looking for rather easily although I wish there was a live chat option so you do not have to call and wait on hold or wait for a response by email.

Wise offers a 30 day return policy for all non-defective items and all returns are subject to a 15% restocking fee, any defective items will be handled directly by the return department.

Price

Wise Food Storage is very competitively priced when compared to their competition.

They are nearly 15-20% on average lower than the industry giant Mountain House food which can be a huge difference when placing a large bulk order.

There are other brands which are cheaper than Wise Food Storage but on average Wise remains one of the better values in the industry.

Click here to see the different pricing options available from Wise Food Storage.

I would highly recommend that you request a free sample from the Wise website or order one of the smaller packs like the Wise favorites before you place a large order to ensure that your family likes the taste of the food. Get a FREE Sample Package of Wise Company Foods Now!

Wise is always running special promotions like discounts, free shipping, free bonus items so be sure to check their site often for the best Wise Food Storage deals.

My Experience With Wise

I really started getting interested in survival prepping about a year ago and knew that one of thing that I needed to do was secure my family with a long term food storage so I began doing some research on the different brands to see which company had the best tasting and the best value food.

My research led me to narrow my search down to just a few companies, Wise being one of them.

I ordered a samples from Wise, Mountain House, AlpineAire, Augason Farms, and Lindon Farms too see which ones my wife and myself liked the best.

After trying the samples I immediately eliminated Augason Farms and Lindon Farms as we really did not like the taste of their food at all.

Mountain House had the best tasting food but the price was considerably more than what we wanted to pay so it came down to Wise and AlpineAire.

We really liked the fact that these two companies used the mylar pouches and both tasted very similar in quality.

We noticed that AlpineAire offers a better selection of entrees, breakfast, sides and desserts than Wise so we ordered a few more to give them a complete test and we noticed that not all of their food items tasted as good as the first couple that we tried and when we calculated the cost to order a 1 year food storage, AlpineAire was considerably more than Wise.

It was a hard decision but in the end we went with Wise as our long term food storage provider despite so many mixed Wise food storage reviews on the internet.

We read many reviews and noticed a few Wise Food complaints including a few who claimed that Wise food had a chemical after-taste but we have not noticed that in any of the meals we have eaten and for us it really came down to price and quality, Wise was the winner for us in both of those categories.

My only wish is that Wise would add more of a selection to their entire food storage line.

Wise Food Storage Review: Final Thoughts

I hope that this review has helped get a better understanding of Wise Food Storage.

I highly recommend if you are in the market to secure your family with a long term food storage that you do your research, order samples and taste the food from each company on your list.

Get a FREE Sample Package of Wise Company Foods Now!

We did a lot of research before deciding to order our survival food supply from Wise Food Storage and have been happy with our purchase.

Thanks for reading my Wise Food Storage review, if you have any questions, please leave them in the comment section below.

Bug Out Bag Checklist

When you are building your first bug out bag, it really helps if you have a bug out bag checklist to make sure you are not forgetting anything.

I cannot say how important this step is because you could pack one kick ass bag but forget just one critical item and survival can quickly become a lot harder than it has to be.

A few things to keep in mind when preparing a bug out bag:

  • You will have to carry everything you pack, packing a bag that is too heavy can really limit your mobility and increase your rate of fatigue.
  • There is no one size fits all bug out bag, everyone will have items that are unique to their bag.
  • Where you live matters, take into account your geographic location when packing your bug out bag, someone living in New Mexico would have different survival needs than someone living in Washington State.

Bug Out Bag Checklist

The very first thing you will need to decide is what bag you will use for your bug out bag.

There are three main criteria I look for when choosing my bag.

  • Quality
  • Durability
  • Storage Capacity

bugout bag checklistI personally prefer a bag that is lightweight, affordable, has a lot of storage space with many pockets and has a belt strap to help support the weight of the bag.

I just finished putting together a bug out bag for my brother and went with the 3V Gear Large Tactical Backpack with the Molle straps, it is an awesome bag with plenty of storage.

I liked his bag so much that I am thinking about switching his bag for mine, he’ll never know!

So once you have chosen your bag, and marked it off your bug out bag checklist, its time to start filling it with your survival gear.

There are basically 6 categories of items every bug out bags needs to have.

  1. Water and food
  2. Clothing
  3. Shelter
  4. First Aid supplies
  5. Survival Gear
  6. Personal Items

Water

Water is the single most important of the bug out bag essentials to ensure that you have in your bag, you can go a couple of weeks without food but water is critical to your health and survival.

Going without water for even a few days can lead to dehydration and several other negative side effects.

Many “experts” will tell you that you need a gallon a day of water to cover drinking, cooking and for personal use but who wants to add 3 gallons of water, just over 24 pounds to their already heavy bug out bag, not me.

Instead I go with what most true survivalists recommend and carry 12 liters of water in my bag (4 liters per day).

I also carry water purification tablets and a portable survival water filter so I can add additional water as needed.

I recently tested several of the top survival water filters to find out which one was best, you can check out that post here.

Food

If the time comes when you need to use your bug out bag for survival, do not forget to pack food as you will need it to give your body the nutrients it needs to keep you full of energy.

Since you could technically go for a couple of weeks without food, you do not need to pack 3 huge meals a day to survive, instead you should be looking at including items like:

  • Meal replacement bars
  • MRE and other dehydrated meals that just need to be heated with water.
  • Items high in protein like trail mix

These days there are many survival food options that can be picked up at your local sporting goods stores, Wal-mart or online.

Just remember that you do not how long if ever you will need to use your bug out bag so make sure that you are packing foods with a long shelf life because the last thing you would want is to need your bag and find out that all of the food has expired.

Clothing

You will want to make sure you pack additional clothes in your bag because you never know what the weather will be like when you need to use them.

Depending on where you live will determine how much and what type of clothes you pack.

I personally take a few minutes and change the clothes in my bug out bag with each changing season to ensure that I have exactly what I need for that time of year but the basics for clothing should include:

  • A pair of pants, preferably not denim jeans
  • A jacket to stay warm and stay dry from rain
  • A hat
  • Sturdy boots
  • Extra socks, preferably longer thick socks
  • Several bandannas
  • Two extra shirts (1 long sleeve, 1 short sleeve, for layering

Shelter

Shelter is a staple item found in any bug out bag, 72 hour kit or survival pack.

What you decide to pack for shelter can be as simple as a tarp and blanket or you could do what some preppers recommend and bring a tent and sleeping bag.

I personally mix it up and carry two tarps, nylon rope and a very lightweight sleeping bag.

The idea for me is that the smaller of the two tarps can serve as the bottom of my tent so I am not sleeping directly on the ground and I can use the rope and larger tarp to fashion a tent or canopy over me.

The choice for your bag will ultimately come down to preference, available room in your bag and how much weight you want to carry.

First Aid Supplies

I have seen a lot of blogs out there that recommend you carry a first aid kit in your bug out bag but let’s be honest, when your life is on the line are you going to really be worried about putting a band-aid on your boo boo?

I am guess no, so buying one of those cheap little first aid kits at your local Wal-Mart is just not going to do.

These kits simply do not have everything you will need when you are in an emergency situation and the risk of injury is all around you.

I recommend a kit that has all the basics of a first aid kit but also has items which you would need to treat more severe injuries you may face.

The bag that I have in my bag is the Adventure Medical Kits Day Tripper First Aid Kit

survival first aid kit
Survival Gear

So far we have discussed adding common items that you will find in all bug out bags, food and water, clothing, shelter and a first aid kit, now lets look at the survival gear.

These are items that you absolutely cannot live without that do not fit in any of the categories above.

There are quite a few of them so I will keep it simple and just give you a list:

  • Flashlights – at least 2 dependable flashlights with backup batteries for each.
  • 3 ways to make a fire – disposable lighter, waterproof matches in a waterproof case, and a fire starting tool.
  • Cooking supplies
  • Rain gear – nothing fancy just enough to keep you and your bag dry
  • Something to cut your firewood, a pocket chainsaw or folding saw will be fine
  • Solar or crank radio
  • Survival fishing kit
  • Sewing kit
  • Folding shovel
  • Multi function knife – Swiss army
  • Roll of duct tape
  • Signal mirror and safety whistle
  • Mosquito/ bug spray
  • Sunglasses
  • 12 hour light sticks
  • Local map and compass
  • Dusk mask and extra bandannas
  • 100′ of para-chord
  • Survival knife

This should just about cover everything you will need to survive however if you are like me and want to be prepared for anything that could come your way you could pack small bolt cutters and a lock picking kit (not that I know how to use it but I am sure I could figure it out if needed).

Personal Items

We have covered a lot of items so far and have one last category to go and man is it an important one, your personal items.

This is going to be different for everyone so pack what you know you will need.

When I say personal items of course I am referring to items such as hygiene products but there are several other items that you should have in your bug out bag, such as:

  • Photo identification
  • Cash and coins – if the grid is down, credit cards mean nothing
  • A book

The final item that you will need is a weapon to provide yourself with a way to defend yourself if the situation comes up.

I have several guns so that is the way I am going but I will leave it up to you as to what type of weapon you decide to carry.

Bug Out Bag Checklist

Now that you have had time to check out the bug out bag checklist, you may be feeling a little bit overwhelmed but you shouldn’t be.

You do not have to run out and get all of these items today or tomorrow, you can add a few items from the list each week or each month until you have them all.

Unless you are in immediate danger and feel you will be needing the completed bag in the next few weeks I recommend you take your time, research, shop around and eventually you will have everything you need.

Just remember when going through your bug out bag checklist that you will be making a bag for each family member that is big enough to carry their own bag and ensure you have enough room to store items for family members that either cannot carry a pack or cannot carry the full load on their own.

Once you have collected everything you need, pack your bag and store it in a place that is easily accessible in the event of an emergency.

I hope this bug out bag checklist helped make building your own bug out bag a lot easier than trying to do it on your own.

Should You Buy A Pre-made Bug Out Bag?

With everything going on in the world these days, the idea of having a bug out bag is becoming more and more popular.

For the longest time it seemed that only true preppers, survivalist and military personnel even knew what bug out bag was but now more and more people from all walks of life are jumping on board with preparing themselves and their families for any emergency or crisis that could come their way.

With all the news coverage of natural disasters like Katrina, the California wild-fires and the many tornadoes and hurricanes that have left parts of the United States in shambles, people are starting to think seriously about preparing their families for the next big emergency that may force them out of their homes to survive.

There are others that view the current state of the economy and foreign affairs as being on the edge of disaster and know that if that day comes, those who have taken the time to plan and prepare will be the ones who survive.

Whichever reason has you thinking about protecting your family, a bug out bag is a great investment and something you never know when you will use but will be glad you have it if that time comes.

The next question is, do you go out and gather all of the items you will need to build an effective bug out bag or should you buy a pre-made bug out bag?

should you buy a pre-made bug out bag

Should You Buy A Pre-made Bug Out Bag?

Before we get into whether or not you should buy a pre-made bug out bag or not, let’s briefly talk about what is a bug out bag.

I am sure at this point you already have a pretty good understanding of what one is but just in case.

A bug out bag, also known as a 72 hour kit, is a portable emergency survival bag that is designed to contain everything that you will need to survive, away from your home, for up to 3 days.

This includes any and everything you will need to survive on your own when disaster has struck, the grid is down and all access to food, fresh water and shelter are scarce or restricted.

Just think for a minute of all the things that come to your mind when you start making a list of everything you could possibly need to survive.

I know it’s a lot and you sure do not want to be scrambling around trying to gather all of those things when a natural disaster is headed your way or in your backyard.

As a prepper, you want to have everything you will need to survive ready to go at a moments notice, that is exactly what a bug out bag is, your survival kit packed and ready to go at a moments notice.

So now that you have a better understanding of what a bug out bag is, lets looks at your options when it comes to putting yours together.

You really only have two options, make your own or buy a pre-made bug out bag.

Personally, I do not see where you could go wrong with either option so long as you have everything you need and the items in your kit are high quality.

Each has advantages and disadvantages and it will be up to you which way you want to go, lets discuss each:

Build your own bug out bag

I personally built my first bug out bag because I like the idea of making list and then going on a scavenger hunt trying to find all the items on my list.

Ok, I know this is serious stuff and not meant to be fun but damn it its my bag and I will have fun if I want to.

Plus with building your own bug out bag, you get to choose each and every item and you can ensure only the highest quality items make it in your bag.

The down-side to building your own is you will more than likely spend a lot more if you do not have all or most of the items already.

My family is a bunch of flea market and yard sale junkies so we always shop around and find exactly what we are looking for used and on the cheap.

If you are starting from scratch and have to buy the bag and everything in it you better expect to drop down some coin, but trust me it will be well worth it knowing you have the peace of mind in the fact that you have better prepared yourself and your family for the unknown that lies in your future.

Just think if a mudslide, wild-fire, tornadoe or some other crisis where to happen where you live tomorrow and you have to evacuate your home and live on your own for 2 or 3 days until help arrived, would you survive?

Would you stand a much better chance if you were prepared with a plan and the tools you need to survive?

Buying a pre-made bug out bag

Typically when you buy a pre-made survival kit you are getting the basics such as food, water, a few survival tools, first aid kit and emergency supplies like thermal blanket, tube tent etc but don’t expect to get everything you will need to complete your kit.

I have yet to see a pre-made bug out bag that contained everything already in it, after-all you will be adding things like clothes, shoes, weapon, survival knife and a few other things that will be unique to you.

Outdoor and survival suppliers understand that people are busy and do not want to spend a lot of money on something they may or may not ever need so suppliers of pre-made bug out bags have popped up everywhere since the craze with prepping and survival took off a few years ago with very inexpensive versions of bug out bags.

I have actually seen a so called “complete kit” sell for as low as $50, really?

Trust me when I tell you that you are better off trying to survive in the woods butt naked in Alaska in the winter time than you are trying to survive off a $50 complete survival kit, its just not going to happen.

Now I have seen very good kits which are very close to complete with higher quality items that sell for between $200 and $300.

These require only a few extra items, mainly items you will already have around your home.

If you do not want to mess around with gathering everything you need to build your own bug out bag then pre loaded bug out bags will do just fine.

Should You Buy A Pre-made Bug Out Bag?

As we come to the end of this post I hope you now have a better understanding of what is a bug out bag and the difference in building your own or buying a pre-made kit.

I cannot say that one way is better than the other although I personally prefer building my own kit because I get to pick and choose everything that goes in the bag.

You can go either way you prefer but the key takeaway is that you get your bug out bag, one way or the other so that you are ready should the day come when you will need it for your own survival.

If you are thinking about looking for pre-made bug out bags, let me suggest to you a great place to start your search, coming soon.

Best Portable Survival Water Filter

Any experienced prepper will tell you that one of the most important items you can pack in your survival pack is a good survival water filter.

It should come as no shock that when an emergency situation come up and survival is on the line, water is the one thing that you just cannot live without, at least not for long.

In fact, depending on the environment, a person can live without food for a few weeks while only days without water.

Throughout the course of the day, your body loses vital bodily fluids through perspiration, sweat and urination and as time goes on you have to replace these fluids or you will be faced with all sorts of problems such as dehydration, exhaustion, fatigue, and hypothermia which could all lead to death.

When you are stranded and trying to survive, access to clean drinkable water is something that is very hard to come by.

There may be several sources of water all around you but drinking potentially contaminated which may include Giardia or other bacteria/viruses, can cause you to become sick, have diarrhea and vomit which will all speed up the dehydration process and could potentially lead to death if not treated.

A couple of things to remember when you are trying to survive and do not have water is:

  • Do not drink any potentially contaminated water without first purifying it.
  • Do not eat anything as your body will not be able to properly digest food when it does not have an adequate amount of water.

Best Portable Survival Water FilterNow there are a ton of ways in which you could turn this unsafe water into clean drinking water, many of which require you to break out your Macgyver skills and come up with crazy concoction that is way beyond the scope of this article, check out this post for ways to build your own survival water filter.

Best Portable Survival Water Filter

In my search to find the best portable survival water filter I tested 3 of the most popular straw survival water filter models on the market today:

  1. Lifestraw Personal Water Filter
  2. Sawyer Mini Water Filtration System
  3. H20 Extreme Water Filter

My current personal survival water filter is the Sawyer Mini Water Filtration System which did a good job in my opinion of purifying potentially contaminated water but I was not impressed with the quality of the water bottle and the fact the it leaked from time to time.

There are 3 main criteria that I was looking for when selecting which one would make it into my survival packs, including:

  • Effectiveness – How well it purified water and taste
  • Price (I am not a cheapskate but no Rockafeller either)
  • Portability, I need a survival water filter that is lightweight and does not take up too much room in my bag.

Knowing which filters I would be testing and what I would be judging on, I gathered my filters and took a trip down to the creek behind my house, here are my findings.

Lifestraw Personal Water Filter

I had heard about the Lifestraw survival water filter but had never used one before my experiment.

I really like the idea of the straw technology which allowed me to drink directly from the water source or collect water and drink immediately without waiting for any sort of chemical purification.

This survival water filter hit all three of my requirements as it is super light-weight, does not take up much room and from what I can tell is super effective at making dirty water clean enough to safely drink.

I do know that sub-micron filters such as the one used in the Lifestraw cannot remove dissolved contaminants such as salt, uric acid or chlorine, so be sure and try to only use this filter on water that is from a flowing source such as a moving river and never drink from water which is stagnant or may potentially have chemicals dissolved in it.

This was the first filter I tested and I must say that I thought about calling it a day and just choosing this one but I went ahead and tested the other 3 just to be sure.

Sawyer Mini Water Filtration System

I sure am glad that I did not stop my test before I got to try the Sawyer mini water filtration system because this little guy is a real work-horse.

While the Lifestraw water filter did hit all of my requirements and I would be just fine if I would have chose it as my go to survival water filter, the Sawyer mini is not only lighter and smaller than the Lifestraw but it filters up to 100,000 gallons of water while the Lifestraw claims to only filter 264 gallons.

I tested water from the same source as I did the Lifestraw and honestly could not tell a difference in taste or clarity of the water but what I did life about the Sawyer Mini water filter is that it came with a hydration pouch and straw which means that I had an extra way to store additional water.

This was a tough one since both of these straw filters are very lightweight, inexpensive and effective which hits all my requirements, but if I had to chose I would go with the Sawyer mini water filter due to the fact that it is smaller, lighter, can filter more water and comes with the water pouch and straw.

I also liked that the Sawyer can fit on any standard size water bottle, pretty cool since these seem to be littering all of our woods these days and you should be able to find one with ease if you do not have one already in your pack.

Like the Lifestraw, the Sawyer uses a sub-micron filter so it too cannot filter out dissolved chemicals in contaminated water so be careful and look for film or water that you cannot see through.

H20 Extreme Water Filter

By the time I got to my third straw filter my mind was pretty much made up so I may have been a little bit biased when I tested the H20 Extreme water filter.

This filter was about as long as the Lifestraw water filter at roughly 9″ so already I knew it was bigger than the Sawyer.

I also noticed that the H20 extreme seemed to be built a little better than the Lifestraw but upon doing some research on this filter I found that it does not claim to remove as many contaminants as the Lifestraw of the Sawyer claim to, which may have been left off but could be huge when in a survival situation.

Again this filter seemed to do a good job filtering the water I was testing and the taste and clarity seemed to be right in line with the other filters but nothing really stood out about this filter to make me think it was any better than what I had already tested.

Best Portable Survival Water Filter

Today there are so many portable survival water filters and purifiers on the market, I could have easily tested a 100 more but for the sake of time and cost I went with three popular straw filters as they would most likely be affordable for most everyone who reads this post and offer effective purification packed in a small package which is great for all of us who are already cramped for space in our survival packs.

I have also heard that the Katadyn water filters and the ones from MSR work very good but for this test the price was one of my main components and these are considerably more expensive.

So which of these is the best survival water filter?

After testing these 3 filters, the one that I have chosen to use in all of my families survival packs is the Sawyer Mini Water Filtration System
although if you went with the Lifestraw survival water filter you really cannot go wrong.

What Is A Get Home Bag?

Post name: what is a get home bag

Today I want to help solve some of the confusion about get home bags by explaining what they are, what to put in them and why you need one.

A get home bag is like all other survival gear is something you hope you never have to use but can be a real life saver if you do.

Essentially, a get home bag is a bag that contains everything you will need to survive and make it home should you ever find yourself stranded somewhere away from civilization.

The items you include in your get home bag are often items you already have in your home or items that can be picked up with a quick trip to your local store.

Don’t worry if you are not a survival gear expert or don’t have a lot of money to spend, anyone can put together a great get home bag once you know what you should put in them and trust me this won’t cost nearly as much as you are thinking, for many of you it will not cost anything more than the time to go shopping around your house and collecting all the items.

what is a get home bag

What Is A Get Home Bag

A get home bag is just what it sounds like, a bag which includes everything you might need to get back home in the event that you find yourself stranded at work or somewhere away from civilization.

Get home bags are often confused with bug out bags (bail out bags) which are survival bags designed to help you survive for up to 72 hours in the event that you have to evacuate your home as a result of a natural disaster or other crisis and need supplies like food, water and shelter to survive for an extended period of time.

The content of these two bags differ greatly and in situations where you are just trying to get home, the content of a bug out bag may be a lot more than you need or want to carry.

For more information on bug out bags, check out my post on what is a bug out bag.

A get home bag is often left in your car or somewhere that is easily accessible for you at work to ensure that you are never far from your bag should something bad happen when you are away from home.

Ok, so now that we have a basic understanding of what is a get home bag, let look a scenario where having your GHB makes the difference between getting home and possibly being stranded for an extended period of time.

Scenario

You are at work and something terrible happens, could be anything from a explosion, fire, terrorist act or whatever else you can imagine.

Many people often think that something like what happened at the World Trade Center on 9/11 could never happen where they work, but believe me it could at any moment and you have to prepared when it does to help ensure your survival.

So something terrible has happened at work and you must get home, all forms of transportation have been shut down as a result of the emergency, so what are you going to do?

Right now there are two options, you could stay stuck at work for who knows how long without food, water or do what any sensible person would do and do what ever it takes to get home, including walking.

Now according to the US Census, the average person commutes around 25 minutes to work, keep in mind that is not in miles but time so factors like traffic are included, but to be safe lets say that the 25 represents about 15 – 20 miles of actual distance.

In a car at 60 miles per hour average you would be at work in roughly 25 minutes but on foot at a comfortable pace would be moving at roughly 3 mph which would put your travel time home to around 5 to 6 hours, not something you want to do everyday but in this case definitely something you could do in order to get home and not be left stranded with the basic necessities needed for survival.

Many of you reading this will work closer to home while others travel for an hour or more to get to work, if this is you know that a get home bag for you may mean leaving your work and getting 10 to 20 miles to the next town not effected by the emergency where you could pick up transportation to get you home.

So where does having your get home bag come in, if you are forced to walk home or to the next city, having supplies such as extra socks, comfortable shoes, water, food, flashlight and possibly a weapon could mean all the difference between making it where you are headed and who knows what.

The big takeaway from this scenario should be that you probably will never need your get home bag, but if you do, you better believe that you will be glad you packed it because you probably will not be getting home without it.

What To Put In Your Get Home Bag

Here is where most people differ, what to put in your get home bag.

I have seen people who recommend everything from a pry-bar to rope in their get home bags and there may come a situation where these items would come in handy if you decided to pack them but you really need to look at your own personal situation and determine what are the items that you are most likely to need so that you do not have to pack up your whole house every time you leave the house.

Here are the most common items that are included in a get home bag, you can add or subtract a few items as your situation may require more or less supplies.

  • Food – 4-6 meal replacement bars and some trail mix should do.
  • Water – a couple bottles should be more than enough, you can add more depending on how far your commute is.
  • Water purification tablets, in case your journey is longer than expected and you need additional water.
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Extra socks
  • jacket and poncho
  • Multi- tool with plyier, knife, screwdriver, etc.
  • Waterproof led flashlight with extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Map and compass
  • Emergency blanket
  • Emergency whistle
  • At least 3 ways to make a fire if needed (waterproof matches, disposable lighter, and fire striker)
  • Roll of duct tape
  • Small notepad and a couple pens
  • Ear plugs, dust mask, gloves, goggles, handkerchiefs
  • Hand warmers
  • Emergency tube tent with thermal sleeping bag
  • Zip ties and paracord
  • Collapsible walking stick

I know this sounds like a lot but you just never know what you will need along the way and in situations like these, it is better to be safe than sorry.

I personally carry one of my handguns with extra ammo with me at all times so that would be another component to my get home bag, if you do not carry a weapon at all times with you then I would advise that you add one to your get home bag as you never know what you will encounter along the way.

Again, feel free to add items as you see fit.

money packs tactical backpackNow chosing a get home bag is something that will come down to personal preference.

There are many options available such as backpacks, messenger backs and slings, but the one thing you must consider is that you will be carrying this bag with you everyday so chose an option that doesn’t restrict your ability to move and does not have to be carried which ties up one or both or your hands.

Personally for my get home bag, I chose the Monkey Paks military style tactical assault backpack with water pack included, it is super light and has more than enough room for all my gear.

Monkey paks is known for producing some of the highest quality bags on the market and this along with all the pockets and storage space made this the best bag or me.

I highly recommend this bag and know that if you use it for your get home bag, you will not be disappointed.

Get Your Monkey Paks Get Home Bag Here

Buy A Pre-Made Get Home Bag

If you are looking to save a lot of time gathering all of the items you need to build a great get home bag, there are several pre-made get home bag options available.

I have researched several of these bags and the one that stands out to me is the Echo-Sigma Get Home Bag because it contains high quality supplies unlike many of the cheaper alternatives.

The cool thing about the Echo-Sigma get home bag is that it has everything you could possibly need in your GHB plus there is room left over to add a few additional items with no problem and this kit only weights 18 pounds so it will not weigh you down when you are traveling home.

what is a get home bag

Get Your Echo-sigma Get Home Bag Premium Emergency Kit
Trust me, when it comes to survival, you do not want to leave you safety up to cheap tools which may break when you need them the most.

I am actually going to order this same bag to keep in our second vehicle so I do not have to keep switching my get home bag back and fourth.

Conclusion

I was that I was able to help you better understand what is a get home bag and now that you know what they are, what to put in them and why you need one that you will start building a get home bag or ordering a pre-made one today because you never know when you will need one.

How To Properly Store Your Long Term Food Storage

One of the most important factors you need to consider before you purchase your long term food storage is how will you properly store your investment.

Remember that this is your long term food storage and while you hope you never have to use it, you want it to last as long as possible.

The last thing you want is to expect your emergency food to last 20 or more years and because of improper storage it does not last.

I hear stories all the time about people who never even took their emergency food out of the box it came in and just threw it in a closet or basement somewhere and resting easy knowing they have it for that unexpected emergency.

Let me be the first to tell you, do not do that!

While your long term food storage may have an expiration date of 15, 20 or even 25 years, that is under optimal conditions and climate and it is up to you to protect your food storage by remembering these simple rules:

  • Where you store your food storage has a huge impact on how long your emergency food supply will last and how well it will taste when used.
  • The type of containers you store your food in as well as the conditions you store it in also has a huge impact on keeping the freshness of the food.

So now that you know the simple rules for how to properly store your long term food storage, lets dive deeper into the conditions in which you need to store your food storage and the containers you should store your food in.

How To Properly Store Your Long Term Food Storage

When you are looking for how to store food long term you have 3 main food storage container options that will help extend the life of your emergency food and keep your food fresh:

  1. Large Buckets
  2. Mylar Bags (pouches)
  3. Cans

There is one more food storage container that we do not see used commercially anymore but is still widely used by old school preppers and do it yourself survivalists, glass jars such as mason jars.

These work great as long as the jars have been thoroughly cleaned and have a tight seal.

The problem with glass jars such as mason jars is that the contents in them is affected by light so they have to be stored in the dark to ensure longer shelf life.

These days many survival food suppliers have switched to plastic jars but I personally only use the 3 options listed below.

Large Buckets

A very common way to store your long term emergency food storage is to keep your food sealed in air tight large food grade buckets.

Buckets are very durable and not only air tight but are leak and spill proof which means your emergency food supply is safe and sound and you do not have to worry about insects, rodents or anything else getting in your supply.

You will see the use of bucket from just about every one of the major emergency food manufacturers because they know that when it comes to increasing shelf life, protecting your investment and reducing the amount of space your emergency food storage takes up, there is no better way to store your food than with buckets.

Long term food storage buckets can be used for storage of everything from rice and beans to an assortment of dehydrated meals.

The main benefit of using buckets is they are air tight so once you fill them, throw in a large oxygen absorber and place the lid on, you are set for many many years to come.

Most long term food storage companies ship their buckets with standard bucket lids which in my opinion are not the best way to preserve your emergency food supply, I personally have opted to use gamma lids on all of my food storage buckets because they have 2 gaskets which ensures me that there is no air getting in my buckets to spoil my food.

I have only been able to find Gamma lids for round buckets, the buckets I received from Wise Food Storage were square like pails of cat litter but they have a great design made for increasing the shelf life of the food inside.

Mylar Bags

Mylar bags work great for food storage because they come in several sizes, are lightweight and when used with oxygen absorbers can really make an effective long term food storage container.

Mylar pouches have the ability to keep food good for 15-25 years depending on thickness and storage conditions so they are a very good option if you want to go this route.

Cans

Another common way that you will see long term emergency food vendors use as containers is #10 cans.

#10 cans are great in my opinion because they come air tight and typically have a shelf life of up to 25 years.

If you are new to this you probably have no clue what the difference is in a regular can and a #10 can.

Think of the large coffee cans you see at the grocery store, that is the size of a #10 can and all of the ones you will see in the long term food storage catalogs and websites will come with a plastic lid so that you can preserve the contents for up to 2 weeks after opening.

A typical #10 can holds 96 ounces while a typical Campbell’s soup can (#2 can) holds 10.75 ounces, so roughly 9 #2 cans to 1 #10 can.

How To Properly Store Your Long Term Food Storage

How To Properly Store Your Long Term Food Storage

Properly storing your long term food storage is just as important as what type of food you buy and how much.

By not taking the necessary precautions to ensure that your emergency food storage is safe, secure and stored at the right temperature with minimal sunlight, you could be risking the change of your food storage not making it to the time you really need it.

Just because something says it will last 25 years doesn’t mean it will if you are storing it at a temperature higher than what is recommended.

For example, I recently read an article which claimed that storing your long term food storage at 70 degrees instead of 60 degrees can reduce the shelf life by up to 10 years.

Now I do not know about you but with the amount money I paid for my family’s emergency food, I would hate to lose 10 years of shelf life just because I didn’t store it at the right temperature.

Final word on how to properly store your long term food storage, read the manufacturer’s recommendations as far as how to store your food supply, several use different packaging methods which require different storage requirements to extend the shelf life to the maximum.

What Is A Bug Out Bag

I am creating this post to help all of you who are wondering what is a bug out bag.

There is a lot of confusion out their surrounding the terminology of these bags so lets go ahead an clear that up first.

A Bug Out Bag is also known as a:

  • 72 hour kit or bag
  • Survival Go Bag
  • BOB
  • Battle Bag
  • Good Bag
  • PERK – personal emergency relocation kit
  • Grab Bag
  • Bail out Bags

A Bug Out Bag is often confused with but not the same as get home bag which is typically a bag with everything you will need to last up to 24 hours in the event you have to get out of a bad situation fast and do not have time to pack a bag.

Unlike a Bug Out Bag a get home bag is a smaller bag that you would keep with you at all times, typically a small to medium size bag about the size of a fanny pack or large camera bag will do.

So now that we have cleared up the terminology surrounding these 72 hour survival bags, lets get back to focus of this post, what is a bug out bag.

What Is A Bug Out Bag

A Bug Out Bag is often called a 72 hour kit because that is exactly what it is, a kit that contains everything one would need to survive for 72 hours in the event that they had to evacuate from a disaster or crisis.

The major difference between a bug out bag and any of the survival kits is the bug out bag is exclusively for survival during an evacuation.

It is said that the term “bug out” was derived from the “bail-out bags” that many military aviators carry with them at all times.

However, unlike a bail-out bag, which typically carries emergency gear for going into a emergency situation a bug out bag has gear designed for escape and survival.

So why 72 hours and not more or less?

Research has shown that it typically takes up to 72 hours for disaster relief to arrive to assist those affected by a disaster and offer assistance.

bug out bag

What To Put In Your Bug Out Bag

One of the most important elements of a bug out bag is what you put in your bag.

Often times people forget a few key items which will prove costly when you are trying to survive away from the safety of your home for any length of time, so doing some research and planning your bag is crucial.

I recommend that you make a bug out bag checklist to ensure that you have everything you will need to survive for at least 3 days, more on that below.

The most common mistake I see people make besides not packing everything they will need is, packing their bag too heavy for them to carry for any length of time.

If you are planning your bug out bag I would recommend that you include the following items:

Food and Water

You should pack enough food and water to last for up to 72 hours.

It should go without saying that food and water are critical for your survival in any type situation.

Now you are probably not going to be eating the same types of food you are use to but remember that your main focus is on survival.

Since you are just looking at getting through for a short period of time, you can easily get by with energy bars and backpack type meals that just require very little preparation.

One thing you will want to consider when planning the food you are going to be packing in your bug out bag is how many calories per day you are planning for.

Keep in mind that you will not be sitting around watching day time tv all day and will be out moving around most of the day so plan on 2,000-2,500 calories per day for each adult and about 60-70% of that for each child under 12.

Many people recommend that you keep 1 to 2 liters of water per person per day for survival but this is simply not enough in my opinion.

I would say you need to double or even triple that when you take into consideration drinking, cooking, and personal hygiene.

Water can get heavy so look into emergency water packs or opt for bottle water, and you should also make sure you pack water purification tablets to increase your amount of available fresh water.

If you are going to go with backpack type meals which are normally dehydrated and require boiling water, remember to back a lightweight cook set and utensils to prepare your food.

Here is the set that my wife and I have in our bug out bags, it is less than $10.

what is a bug out bag

Get Your Coleman Aluminum Mess Kit Here For Less Than $10
Clothing

This would typically be the same gear you would pack if you were going on a weekend backpacking trip.

You never know what kind of weather you will incur when you need your bag so pack for the unexpected.

Your bug out bag should include the following clothing items:

  • A hat
  • At least on bandana, there are many uses for these and they don’t weight much so pack several.
  • A few extra pairs of boot socks
  • A sturdy pair of boots or shoes designed for hiking.
  • A pair of long pants, preferably not blue jeans
  • A couple shirts, since you do not know the weather, pack a long sleeve and a short sleeve, you can always layer them.
  • A jacket that will both provide warmth and protection from the rain.
  • Thermal underwear
  • Gloves
  • Poncho

This is just the bare minimum, you could easily pack more if you feel that this would not be enough for you to survive for 3 days but at least pack these as a starting point.

Personally we change the clothes in our bug out bag with each changing season, so if winter comes we will pack heavier long sleeve clothing and change that to lighter clothes in the sprint and summer, choice is really up to you.

Shelter From The Elements

Here is where many people’s bug out bags differ greatly, shelter.

I have seen people who carry tents, blankets, sleeping bags and try to make themselves as comfortable as possible while they sleep and I have seen others who simply pack a couple tarps and a sleeping bag.

This one really comes down to preference and how much you really want to carry with you.

Personally for us, I can carry more weight than my wife so I carry a two person tent, a sleeping bag, tarp and 2 blankets while she carries her sleeping bag and a tarp.

Hopefully we do not get separated because I have the tent, 🙂

I feel that if you are able to get a good nights rest even though you are trying to survive the elements that you will be much more productive the following day and will be able to have more energy to search for shelter if needed.

The basics for the shelter that you carry should include:

  • A good, warm sleeping bag
  • A tent or some type of tarp that you can use to protect you from elements from above.
  • A ground tarp or some sort of sleeping pad so that you are not sleeping directly on the ground.
  • Blankets to provide warmth (depending on your region and time of year)

A Weapon

Here is the topic that get the survivalists all hot and bothered, if you are one feel free to leave your favorite bug out bag weapon in the comment sections and please do not tear me up too bad for not mentioning one or more items that you have in your bag.

The weapon in my opinion is all about choice and what you are comfortable with.

I personally do not see me carrying my AR15 around the woods along with my heavy ass bug out bag, instead I keep a small lightweight 9mm on my side and a 22 in the bag, my wife also carries her 38 in her bag.

You can carry a firearm if you would like or not, but keep in mind that you are only going to have the options that you give yourself when you are away from home and there is a crisis going on all around you.

Below I will recommend you carry a survival knife which can also be used a weapon if needed but I personally do not like to get that close and personal so for me the handgun works well.

Remember, the whole point of your bug out bag is survival, you never know what you will come in contact with your how people around you will act when there is a natural disaster or crisis and access to electricity, food and water has been cut off.

Everything Else

I feel that we would all agree that food, water, clothing, shelter and a weapon are the absolute most important items you can pack in your bug out bag but you will have a very difficult go of it if you stop there.

Here is a list of all the items that do not fall in one of the above categories that are absolutely necessary for your survival.

  • First aid kit
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Fire starting tool and weather proof matches
  • Map of the area and compass
  • Enough medicine to last 7 hours – if applicable
  • Lighting – battery or crank flashlights and glow sticks
  • Am/ Fm radio – solar or crank
  • Emergency cash as electronic transactions may be down.
  • Photo identification
  • Pocket chainsaw or small hatchet for cutting firewood
  • Swiss Army and a survival knife
  • Folding shovel
  • A roll of duct tape, rope and wire
  • A sewing kit
  • Hot hands – for winter months
  • Pet food and supplies – if you will be traveling with your dog.
  • Extra ammunition and gun care items – if you are carrying a firearm

One thing to keep in mind is that there is no set rule as to what you are to pack in your bug out bag, there will be no one who will write you a ticket or throw you in jail if you add other non-essential items in your bag  such as playing cards, books, magazines, etc.

It is your bag and you are free to add or subtract whatever you want, but I would highly recommend that you add the item above as they will be essential to your survival.

 Bug Out Bag

So now you should have a good idea of what is a big out bag as well as what to put in it.

Now its time for you to protect your family and start putting together bug out bags that will protect and save your family in the event that you are forced to evacuate your home and have to survive with only what you packed.

You can find everything you will need to put in your bug out bag at you local Army surplus or sporting and outdoors stores.

If you are like me and want high quality survival gear at affordable prices, my favorite online store is Brownells which has a wide selection of survival gear at affordable prices, not the place that all true survivalists would choose but this is not their blog either and I have never had a bad experience ordering from them.

When a natural disaster or crisis happens, you will not have time to pack your bug out bag so start planning and gathering everything you will need to build the perfect bug out bag for you.

I look forward to hearing any questions or comments you have about bug out bags as well as any items you think should be included in everyone’s bag that was not included on this page.

Planning Your Long Term Food Storage System

One of the most common questions asked when planning your long term food storage system is how much food should you store?

I feel that it is best to start by asking yourself what type of emergency you are planning so you will have a starting point in determining the size of your supply.

Some people only want to ensure that they have everything they need to get through a natural disaster while others are planning for and “end of times” type crisis.

For those of you who are looking to plan a long term food storage to get your family through a temporary event like a hurricane, ice storm etc, you will probably be looking to establish a couple of weeks to a month of food and water to ensure your family does not run out of food.

However if you are planning for the next Great Depression or WWIII (which are both very possible), you may be looking for a longer solution that would last your family several months to years down the road.

Either way is completely up to you, but you will uncover the duration of your food supply needs in the next section.

how to start a long term food storage

Planning Your Long Term Food Storage System

One of the best ways that I have found to determine how much food your should store to ensure your family is not at risk of running out of food in the event of a scarce or unavailable food supply is to sit and plan out your long term food storage system.

You should take the time to plan this out before you buy any food for your food storage system.

To a great way to get started is to sit and write down every emergency situation that your family may face and how long you feel the emergency will last.

Once you have your list with estimated durations of each, decide which of the emergencies are most likely to occur.

If you feel that the shorter duration emergencies like an ice storm or natural disaster are most likely then plan your food storage system around those which typically limit your access to food and water for 2 days to a couple of weeks.

However if you feel that a much longer duration crisis is more likely  to happen, you should use that as the basis for planning out your food storage system and opt to store a much longer amount of food and water supplies.

For my family, we have chosen to keep a 1 year food and water supply, so my food storage system will sustain my family for 12 months without any additional food sources.

I have spoken with several people who have opted to keep only 3 months of food and water while others have said they have several years worth of emergency food storage, the choice is really up to you and what you feel that you will need to sustain your family.

Determining the length of your emergency food supply is just the first step, you will also need to determine how many people will be living off this supply.

You will need to list all adults and children who will be living off your emergency supply including additional family members, pets and neighbors who you will want to supply with food and water.

It is important to determine how many adults and how many children because children will typically not require as many calories each day, which I will cover in a moment when I cover calories.

The final factor you will need to plan for is how many calories you will need to store in your long term emergency food storage system.

For my family I have planned to store 2,500 calories per day of food for each adult over the age of 12 and 1,500 calories for each child under the age of 12.

Now this may seem like a lot for one person but you have to take into consideration that you will be less sedentary in an emergency situation and will need more calories than you typically do to fuel your body with the energy it needs to prevent you from becoming lethargic and tired throughout the day.

I have seen some people recommending as low as 800-1000 calories a day per person for your food storage system, to me this is crazy unless you are trying to use this as an opportunity to lose a bunch of weight.

I strongly believe that 1,000 calories is no enough and my estimate of 2,500 may be too much but the good thing about my estimate is you will have the option to use the extra calories to extend the length of your long term food storage system if needed.

In situations like these, if you have the room to store a little extra then by all means do it, when it comes to your family’s survival you do not want to run out of food because of poor planning.

Planning Your Long Term Food Storage System

Hopefully you now have a better understanding of planning your long term food storage system and are ready to start establishing your survival food supply to keep your family safe no matter what crisis may happen in your area.

In summary, before you go out and begin buying emergency food you will need to know:

  • How many days you need your food storage to sustain you and your family
  • How many people will need to be sustained by your emergency food supply
  • How many calories each person will need each day during the emergency.

planning your long term food storage system

Once you have taken the time to figure out these factors, you can then calculate how much food to buy to establish your long term food storage based on the number of calories per pound in the chart above.

Now that you know how much food you will need, its time to start looking for the best long term food storage for your needs.

I have built my long term food storage system with Wise Food Storage as they have great tasting meals and offer the best value in the industry.