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The importance of a 3 month food supply and getting started

Cassie Larsen submitted this article.

The importance of a 3 month food supply and getting started

When most people think of preparedness they think about their emergency/ bug out bags and 72 hour kits. When I think of preparedness I think about my 3 month food supply and long term food supply too. Your 3 month food supply is easier and quicker to get then the long term food supply or ultimate goal of a year of  food. I suggest you start with your 3 month supply then move up to the long term food storage foods.

What is a 3 month food supply? It is a supply of foods you eat on a daily basis, foods that are part of your normal diet. It is not the long term foods like wheat, oats and beans in number 10 cans. It’s can goods, pasta, cereal, and grains. You should try to convert some of the fresh items you use into canned or frozen items, so they will store longer.

There are many reasons to have a 3 month supply of food. If you or your significant other lose your job, an unexpected expense, unexpected guests, a shorter than expected pay check, bad weather, sickness or just a busy week. Now with any of those situations it is nice to have extra food in the cupboard and freezer.

Getting started with your supply:

Option number 1: You can buy an extra couple of items each week at the store. Say you need a can of chicken noodle soup instead of buying one can you buy two cans. Once you have used that one can you add it to the grocery list to buy another two cans. As time goes on you will slowly add up to a 3 month supply of food.

Option number 2: You can shop the ads and coupons and stock up when items go on sale. If cereal is on sale you buy 4+ boxes instead of one, or buy as much as your budget allows. This option helps you to get your food supply quickly while still staying on a budget. An important thing to keep in mind while doing this option is to not buy extra items that are not on sale. Once you watch the ads you will realize everything goes on sale in a rotation. Say this week its pasta, next week it will be cereal and in another four weeks it will start again.

Option number 3: Keep a list of meals you eat for two weeks and all the ingredients needed for those meals. Then add extra items from your meal list to your grocery list each week so you always have the ingredients needed to make those meals.

I like to do all 3 options, that way I have complete meals plus extra filler foods too.

Date and Rotate Supply:

One thing that is really important to remember when having a 3 month supply of food is to rotate thru your food. You wouldn’t want all your money to be thrown away because the food expired. To rotate thru your foods, I suggest you write the month and year of when you bought the item on the top of the item. I write the date on top of all non perishable items; including my freezer, cleaning and toiletry items. When you write the month and year on top of the package you are able to see quickly what package to take out and use next. If you have eight cans of cream of chicken soup, you want to use the can you bought in May 2012 (5-12) not the can you bought in October 2012 (10-12). This method alleviates the need to worry about the expiration date. It also helps you to quickly see that you don’t need to buy any more of a particular item.  For example: Since the two packages of rice you bought in January 2012 (1-12) still haven’t been opened there is no reason to buy rice.

Use your freezer:

The freezer is a great way to add storage room for your 3 month food supply. You can freeze milk, cheese, bread, pizza dough, tortillas, yogurt, butter, some cut up vegetables and fruits, as well as your normal frozen foods and meat. The freezer in your fridge, chest freezers and stand up freezers all work the same just work with what you have room for. If you don’t have the option of an extra freezer there are many can meat varieties that you can substitute in most meals.

Don’t forget extra supplies:

Toiletry items are another thing that you want to have a 3 month supply of. It’s the same process for getting your body items, cleaning items, food and drink items. Don’t forget Ammo! The quickest way to add to your toiletry items on a budget is to use coupons and watch the sales. If you are not brand specific you have even more opportunities to add to your supply. Most toiletry and cleaning products do not expire, but I recommend that you rotate thru your toiletry items.

Part of my 3 month food supply. If I had a bigger pantry I would have more:

At the top of the pantry you can see the dates on some of the cereal boxes.

 

Get creative with where you store your food if you don’t have a big pantry. I have extra toiletry items and drinks in my laundry room closet. I have long term food storage in boxes under the bed. This isn’t anything new for me. Growing up I couldn’t put anything under my bed because there was so much long term food under my bed.

Get excited about food storage and get buying extra food! It’s always better to be prepared so when an emergency comes you will be able to take care of yourself and help others. I love knowing that I have extra food in my house. It brings peace, security and self reliance when you are prepared to take care of yourself and your family.

Even if you don’t think you need a bug out bag, 72 hour kit, or need to prepare for an emergency situation, you will always need food and water. A 3 month food supply is a good in home, easy and inexpensive option for your preparedness.

Cassie

What REALLY is the best gun for SHTF?

Mark Hatfield submitted this article.

 

What REALLY is the best gun for SHTF, the Zombie Apocalypse, and the End of the World as we know it.  Maybe it’s not what you think.  A Modest Proposal.

 

Ok, so I stole the ‘Modest Proposal’ line from Jonathan Swift.  Just trying to show that I’m a classy guy.

 

What are the usual concerns?  High ammunition capacity, stopping power, accuracy (But how much?), cost, availability of ammo, cost of ammo, length, weight, reliability, east of maintenance, available of spare parts, iron sights or the $1000 perfect combat optics, and on.

 

Must be a hundred thousand articles ‘out there’ about this.

 

It’s actually tied into another question which always pops up, ‘What if you could have only one gun?’.

 

The late ‘Skeeter’ Skelton wrote about that question using one of his fictional characters, an old Texas rancher whom he called Dobe Grant. Reportedly, ‘Dobe’ was a composite of several real Texan old timers.  When the ‘one gun’ question was posed to the tough old dude (Oops, ranchers aren’t ‘dudes’), he wanted at first 4 guns.  A scoped 30-06, a 12 gauge shotgun, a revolver in 44 magnum, and a revolver in 22 rimfire.

 

When pressed to get to one, the first dropped was the shotgun, then the rifle.  The rancher was skillful enough that he could use the 44 to hunt big game and to deal with predators upon his livestock.   The 22 revolver was just so useful for just about everything that he would not give up that option.  But that is still two guns.

 

He later returned to Skeeter and said ‘If I could have only one gun, it would be a 22 rifle’.

 

Now obviously, the 22 rifle is not going to be carried concealed unless you go about wearing the ankle length coat as do most of the pseudo-serious make believe ‘tough guys’ in the current trend of movies and television.  In a major societal breakdown, having a concealed weapon may be a very wise thing, but for the moment, let’s just think about defending your home.

 

What about the common 12 gauge shotgun?  Definitely powerful, can ‘do the job’, but limited ammunition capacity and the individual rounds are big relative to other types of ammo.  More important, the recoil is too much for many people, perhaps most people.  Perhaps fine for us macho kind of guys but for the wife or the older kids?

 

The deer rifle, or hog rifle.  Again limited ammo capacity, possible recoil concerns.  The bullets may penetrate too many walls and end up places where you didn’t want them to go.

 

What about those Evil Black Rifles, such as the AK and the AR.  Truth is that they are pretty much designed for this type of thing.  These seem to be the preferred rifles for those people who have decided that they and their loved ones will not become victims.  But cost?  That’s variable, and most owners tend to modify these rifles and add accessories, then there’s the price of ammo.

 

Perhaps you’re an exSEAL, Special Forces, SWAT, or some other thing which too many people falsely claim to be, or maybe you just really know your gun, it does what you want it to do, and you can make it perform, but can your spouse use it, or the older kids, or the relatives who are sheltering with you?  (And yes, the rest of the family really should be prepared as well as yourself).

 

Rather than one ‘almost perfect’ $1000 rifle with an attached ‘superest ever combat sight’ for another $1000, couldn’t you get several 22 rimfire rifles and a whole lot of ammunition?

 

If I was a violent criminal offender who had decided to invade an occupied home and I know that the owner had the civilian version of the AK-47 I would be a lot more careful, especially if I thought the owner actually knew how to use it.  If I knew that instead of one defender with a good gun, that daddy, mommy, and the 2 older kids might be defending their home, together, all with minimally adequate but adequate weapons, that home would not be worth my trouble, too much risk to me, even if I had some helpers.

 

At the ‘mart’ stores, 500 rounds of 22 rimfire ammo is less than 25 dollars.  The ‘shelf life’ of 22 rimfire ammo is not as good as centerfire ammo but generally will not start to experience misfires until it is over 10 years old or more.  The cost of the rifles is far less than military style rifles.  The useful distance for use of these rifles for defense is much less than a military style rifle but it is long enough and longer than that of most shotguns.

 

Hand the untrained person a modern defensive handgun and have them try to hit a man sized target at living room distance, not so easy for many people.  But give them a 22 rifle, and they can quickly be good at 50 yards and beyond.

 

Does this mean that I will give away my accessorized customized military style rifle which is outfitted with super optic sights in exchange for a 22 rimfire, heck no.  But if I had to equip several friends or family members who have  limited funds and training, this is worth considering.

Take Your Carbine Everywhere!!!!!

I like to have a carbine with me. I like to have my trusty widowmaker with me wherever I go.  In fact, if I could sling it across my chest every where I go I would be happy. I use to not be so paranoid, but things have changed over the year.  Terrorist attacks, men jealous of my looks, urban crime and flash mobs on the rise, robots from the future and jilted women who had hoped to live up to the high standards to be m lover turned away have made me a lot more antsy in the last 12 years.  I can’t carry my carbine out in the open like I would love to. Though, that does not mean I can not carry it out in public ( where legal).

The trick is for it not to look like a rifle or a rifle in a rifle case. Most of the cases made to hide the fact they are not gun cases, usually fail at this. Anyone who knows anything about guns can spot one of these supposed covert cases because they still have that “look” about them.

I came upon an idea while my girlfriend was going to college at a large university , to keep my precious with me while on the street walking past the university with all the students going by and none of them the wiser.  My idea is certainly not original, but it was a pretty good idea for me anyway.

I used the hide in plain sight method. I bought an ADIDAS bag meant to hold baseball bats or tennis rackets or jock straps or whatever it is people who like or care about sports use to carry that crap in.

While carrying my carbine in this bag, I was able to walk all over down town, past hundreds of liberal arts students with non having a clue. It helped that I acted like I was not trying to hide a “deadly assault rifle ” of course. It is legal in that state and the state I live in so I had no reason to worry or seem nervous. Acting like you belong and have nothing to hide and not fidgeting with it or you CCW sidearm I might add, is a habit that everyone should get into. A lot of people who have every right not to worry about CCWing seem to look guilty or worried when they first start to carry and it shows.

I was able to eat at my favorite place, go into stores, the mall and walk around a small fair going on while carrying the bag and just look like a student going to the tennis court on campus later ( or whatever people who care about that non gun related crap do).

The bag is a heavy kind of canvas/ plastic with some padding to protect the cricket bat or whatever it was meant to hold so it will protect the gun from light knocks,though that is not its purpose. It will hold a 16 inch carbine even with stock extended. I found it had a pouch for jock straps or some such, that would hold up to 6 mags,but that made too much noise and wanted to make it harder to carry and keep a reasonable shape.

It has a double zipper flap that can be opened fast and the carbine deployed pretty rapidly considering. It also has two handles  and some metal rings that allow a carrying strap so you can sling it over your back.

Obviously I do not carry it everywhere and after the test mentioned it was used just to carry it in off the street and up into my GFs apartment for the weekend with no one knowing what it really was. It’s main duty now is to hold my “trunk” gun in my jeep. Few people would break into your car to steal smelly socks and jock straps or a baseball bat and that is what the case screams. Especially if you don’t to something dumb like leaving a  plate carrier full of mags laying beside it.

If you want to keep a rifle in your car but want to keep it low key, look around at normal household things that will hide your gun and not invite a thief or give away what it is.

Check your state laws before you do any of this, people. I live in one of the top ranking states for gun freedom so I can do a lot legally that maybe some of you can not and I of course have a CCWD and that helps, not that its needed for the rifle as it is in my state. But check before you do any of this. It may be OK in your state it just can not be loaded.  Be careful though, people wanting to hurt you are not the only thing out there that can ruin your life. A ambitious attorney wanting to make an example of an evil gun owner cando more damage and is more likely then any zombie alien invasion.

Short Term Bug Out Bag for “Just in Case” Emergencies

I find it so funny that when my friends watch Doomsday Preppers they think of me.  I suppose I can take that as a partial compliment.  Trust me, I enjoy the show, but sometimes I feel people go a little over board.  However, if the shtf, these people are going to be the ones cozy and secure.  My idea of preparation is not letting it consume my life, but doing enough where I feel comfortable… little by little.  I’d rather spend $50-$200 on supplies and ammo per month versus buying other things.  These items never go to waste.  When the expiration date approaches for my canned goods or dehydrated food, I simply take it with me backpacking or camping.  As far as ammo… you can never get enough of that!  I just want to make sure that in case of an emergency, my family and friends will have supplies.  I won’t lie… I have searched for the costs on an underground shelter/container, but that’s purely curiosity (I think).

I strongly encourage everyone (especially ladies) to make an emergency bag.  The costs are minimal and it’s a lot of fun.  I keep this bag in my car.  I figure that 80-90% of the time I am not home, I’m usually outside somewhere with my car nearby.  I can almost guarantee that 100% of the time unless I’m backpacking or hunting, I won’t have adequate shoes on.  I have an 8-5 office job and my typical fashion are high heels, converse, or flip flops.  All not “emergency” wear.  So I decided to share what I have prepared with you in hopes you build your own.

CAT’S SHORT TERM B.O.B. CONTENTS

  • Sturdy backpack
  • Old comfortable tennis shoes
  • Para-cord bracelet
  • Mechanic gloves
  • Hand and toe warmers
  • Storm proof matches
  • Magnesium fire starter
  • Spoon
  • GPS
  • Batteries
  • Bug spray
  • Headlamp
  • Knife
  • Steri-pen (UV water purifier)
  • Wet naps
  • Justin’s Hazelnut Chocolate Packets (YUM!)
  • Mini fire tinder
  • Plastic gloves
  • Disposable face masks
  • First aide kit with Advil
  • Mylar sleeping bags
  • Small pair of binoculars
  • Pair of pants
  • Shirt
  • Smart wool socks
  • Long sleeve thermal shirt
  • Mountain House food – a mixture of pouches that require hot water and the other cold water in case I can’t use fire.  4-6 pouches in total.
  • Bottles of H20/Bladder
  • Solar power and hand crank radio and USB charger
  • Jet Boil
  • Multi-tool
  • Poncho

Anyways, you get the point.  It’s pretty fun when you make your own.  Will I ever need all this stuff?  I hope not, but if I have to find out at least I’m prepared.

MAKE A PLAN

It doesn’t hurt to have a plan in place.  What if you are at work?  What if your kids are at school?  How will you reconnect with your family?  What if your home is destroyed, where will you meet?  Assuming there is a great possibility I will be at the office, I created a map/route for me.  If for some reason my home was not safe, I have a designated meeting location.

SUPPLIES AT HOME

People have asked me which canned foods have the longest shelf life…

  • Spam (about 3 years, I think my newest cans say 2015)
  • Canned chicken/tuna

There are a lot of other foods, just check the labels.  Of course I don’t put these in my pack because of the weight, but I do store at home.

Additionally, I have medical supplies, 100 hour candles, water containers, glow sticks, etc…  I’ve also talked to my neighbors about prepping because let’s say there was a big earthquake in California, our community would have to help one another.  Making your neighbors aware is a very important step in helping your survival.

If you have any questions on any of the items, please feel free to write me.  🙂

SO WHAT’S MISSING???

I’d like to have a Bug Out Revolver for my pack.  I’d like to ask you for any suggestions.  Ideally, I’d like the cost to be less than $600, since there is a possibility it may get stolen.  What revolvers do you suggest and why? 

The Warbelt

These days it seems to be that the idea of the warbelt is a very popular line of personal gear when it comes to fighting or training or just looking cool.  I do not want to get into the whole 1st line 2nd line 3rd line  gear  discussion right now, but I do like the idea of increasing layers of kit to add or take away from depending on what you need or  have time for.  I consider a  EDC  as my 1st line though I have met others that do not.  I always have a pistol reloads a knife and a few more no martial things on me every day, so it might as well be called 1st line in my mind.

The next step up from my EDC  is going to be pretty substantial. Since I already have a pistol and two spare reloads, a light and a knife, if I don not feel that is enough, then I really figure on needing a considerable amount of gear if my EDC  will not cut the mustard.  Also I can slip a belt on and just transfer whatever I carry everyday on to the belt with minor hassle.

I like the warbelt concept for a lot of different reasons. Mainly its because i can slip it on fast and it has more then enough to help win any fight a civilian would  likely ever find their selves into. Also, it can be worn under a plate carrier with comfort and take the bulk of your gear. I like to leave my PC as slick as possible.  I feel there is no r4eason to really load a PC down anyway, it is already heavy due to plates and suck and if you dont need a PC, or at least do not want to use it, you do not have to worry about moving all of your gear over to the belt. The belt is also a lot cooler and comfy while carrying all you need.  On a side note, I have never understood why some people will buy a PC and load ot down with everything and not even have soft armor or plates in it. They are not comfortable or cool and restrict you from having 100 percent freedom so I have no idea what the point of a PC with no armor is.

So to take a quick look at my belt, and whats in it for my purposes.


My belt is simply the Blackhawk Molle belt. Nothing super fancy or pricey but not junk and I like it. On the left side I have a Blackhawk single stack mag pouch made out of the same stuff as the Serpa. Next in line are two Fastmags from BFG. They can be used on a normal pants belt or a MOLLE belt. I LOVE these mag pouches. They retain loaded mags great and it is easy to draw a mag out. They can eve be mounted upside down or anyway you can manage yet still hold the mags in place no matter what. You can also double up on them thanks to slots in the front that allows the tabs to thread through. There is even as slider adjustment piece on the back to add tension if needed. The Fast mags also hold USGI, Pmags, Lancers etc all the same. They are great and I just can not say enough stuff about them.

Next is a leatherman tool stored in a pistol pouch. You never know.  Next to it is a SDS general purpose/canteen pouch.  I think pretty highly of these pouches as well even though they are not popular, They will hold a canteen, 7 mags , medical gear, NVG gear or anything you want. They are NOT padded though so you might not want to put anything  in there that needs padding. In the pouch is once smoke grenade and one tear gas grenade, The tear gas canister spews LEO grade CS for 28 seconds. I like to have these because sometimes  you may need to get away or screen your self at a time shooting just would not be doable. I am sure you can think or plenty of situations they could come in handy without my help.

Next up is my IFAK. It is simply a US Army issue IFAK with a few minor additions by me. I added some extra quikclot and bandages. It has all the normal stuff, CAT ,curlex, Hbandage, pressure bandages etc etc.  I always have one of these in my Jeep and always in a pack  or belt.  Of course I have more then one when doing anything if a gun is being used. Of course do not ad stuff you have no idea how to use, but you can ditch that stuff and add as much stuff you want.

And last is my trusty 1911 that I go no where without. It is my rail gun in one of the Darkstargear holster I had custom made. They will fit to MOLLE or your normal pants belt.

Lastly are suspenders I use to keep the belt from falling around my ankles like a cheerleaders panties on prom night. It helps with the weight if I add a dump pouch or  water etc. I hate to admit, but I forgot what brand they are. Even with all that on my belt ( and its not alot compared to others) it all wears great. I can easily wear it under my TAG Banshee PC with comfort and nothing gets in the way of anything on te PC. It is important to think hard about gear placement. You do not want to put everything together, then find out you can not draw your side arm because a pouch is in the way.  Another small thing I like, is that I can loose the IFAK to make the belt slimmer, and hide it under a long sleeve button up shirt or under a jacket if I ever needed to keep a low profile but still needed my gear. This would be worth its weight in gold in a city while trying to get out of town after some major unpleasantness.