Seasoned preppers know that a well-stocked pantry can make all the difference between survival and starvation, especially when worse comes to worst. But seasoned preppers don't just stockpile haphazardly, a common rookie mistake. After all, an emergency stockpile that ticks all the essential food groups will see you through an SHTF scenario better than a stockpile of junk food.
So before you head out to the supermarket, here are six food storage tips to help you avoid rookie mistakes. (h/t to SHTFPlan.com)
The key to a well-stocked pantry is to have plenty of nutritious shelf-stable foods like grains, oils and dry ingredients. For starters, here is a list of foods to buy in bulk the next time you head to the supermarket:
Additionally, it's a good idea to have an assortment of spices on hand. Food might become monotonous and stale after a while, especially if you eat the same five dishes or so. Spices like turmeric, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg also work as natural remedies for minor ailments, infections and injuries.
Home-canned and dehydrated foods can last for a long time without refrigeration. Plus, even if you don't have a vegetable garden, it's good practice to learn natural food preservation methods to prepare for a possible food crisis in times of disaster. (Related: Home canning basics: Which foods are safe for canning?)
Sprouts are a good source of essential vitamins and minerals if you don't have access to fresh fruits and vegetables. Sprouts also store well when dried, frozen or pickled. They are also incredibly easy to grow from beans and other seeds, and you can expect to harvest most varieties in just three to five days.
Your normal water supply can also run short when worse comes to worst. To avoid water shortage, invest in large containers like barrels and gallons and store enough water for the entire household. Have bleach on hand to treat dirty or contaminated water as necessary, or invest in a water filtration system.
Although meat and fish won't store as well as dried or canned fruits and vegetables, it's possible to extend its shelf-life for a few months when stored and frozen properly. For cost and space-efficient storage, buy meat or fish in bulk and pre-portion into airtight containers. This way, you can thaw only as much as you need for a dish.
It's also a good idea to stock up on seeds you can grow in case of a food crisis. Keep an assortment of seeds that include root vegetables, stalky vegetables, leafy greens, berries and other fruits.
Even with all the available science and technology, we can't tell for sure when the next disaster will strike, or what it will be. In the face of disaster, a well-stocked pantry can significantly maximize the chance of survival.