Notice: This website may or may not use or set cookies used by Google Ad-sense or other third party companies. If you do not wish to have cookies downloaded to your computer, please disable cookie use in your browser. Thank You.
Showing posts with label Survival Food. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Survival Food. Show all posts

Friday, December 4, 2015

Survival Food Procurement- US Army Style

Here is a US Army video that shows how to procure food in a survival situation. Learning wilderness survival skills is very important should you ever have to bug out of an urban area, or for some other unforeseen reasons.

~Urban Man

Friday, October 9, 2015

Making Your Own MRE’s

Making Your Own MRE’s Can Be Satisfying and Cheaper
By Cari Schofield January 21, 2013

Have you ever considered making your own MRE’s (Meals Ready to Eat) as opposed to buying them? They can be used for more than a BOB. We use them as quick on the go meals and they come in especially handy for that forgotten field trip your child needs a packed lunch for.

In this article I am going to show you how simple it can be and provide a meal or two that we make ourselves. After gathering everything we want to put in the meal, we will put it in a freezer bag, squeeze the air out of it as much as we can and add a small Oxygen absorber to it.

The other method we use is vacuum sealing. However, if you do this, make sure that nothing you add in there that is in a package has air in it, otherwise you have a big bulge of air in the meal. If you’re adding an emergency water pack to the meal then tape it to the outside of the package. You can also put the vacuum sealed meal in a freezer Ziploc and add the emergency water package in there. After we have a bunch of them made we put them all in a bucket or in a storage tote. You can also buy attachments to seal dried foods in mason jars.

Note: One thing to remember when making a shopping list for this project is to buy things that can be eaten raw or only requires water to be prepared. Technically speaking, an MRE is a meal that is ready to eat cold because you may not always be able to prepare (heat) the meal and some of the things listed below do not fit in that category but will still work as a meal. Meals that need to be heated have a trioxane bar included to heat without the use of fire.

Breakfast #1 – I love breakfast, it is literally my favorite meal of the day so I am going to start with the morning meals I put together. A big hit in my house is oatmeal. We will take 1-2 of the instant flavored oatmeal packs, 1 sugar packet, 1 powdered butter packet, and one powdered milk packet. (We pre-measure the butter to our taste and the milk according to package directions) We then add one pouch of dehydrated water. (Kidding!) We add 1 emergency water packet to reconstitute the milk and butter. (You can also purchase a 5 gallon bucket with gamma lid of powdered milk here if you’re looking for long-term storage for milk. If you want to, you can also add dehydrated fruit to add to your oatmeal. Hot cocoa drink mix or a yoo-hoo single drink packet.. (These are used when the weather is cooler.)

Breakfast #2 – This one is simple. Dehydrated sausage and either powdered eggs or crystallized eggs. 1-2 salt/pepper packets. If you want cheese on it then you can also pre-measure powdered or freeze-dried cheese. Once it is re-hydrated, mix together for a sausage and egg breakfast scramble. Single kool-aid mix drink packet. You can also add a hot sauce packet to the meal to put on the eggs.

Now that you get the idea, you can make a grocery list of things to purchase to put your meals together. We try to stick with simple things that don’t require much to eat them or make them. The breakfast listed above require some cooking, but in my opinion it is still a ready to make/eat meal.

Below is a list of some of the things we use in our homemade MRE’s. Make sure to write the date it was made on the outside of the package for rotation purposes.

· Prepackaged meats such as on the to-go tuna, spam, and chicken. Pay attention to the dates though because these don’t last 20 years.

· Dehydrated meals that are already prepared and you simply add hot water.

· Prepackaged crackers like we buy for our kids or out of vending machines. You can purchase these at any store or in bulk at Sam’s or Costco.

· Instant drink mix packs. We purchase the on the go ones because they are pre-measured in single packets for a bottle of water. You can even buy instant coffee now by Folgers that looks like a tea bag. You simply add it to a cup of hot water for a few minutes. Add sugar and cream packets and have a great cup of coffee.

· Instant oatmeal packs

· Salt/pepper packs and sugar packets that we save from fast food restaurants. When you go through a drive through just ask for some along with extra napkins and utensils. You can use all of them in your home-made MRE’s.

· Bouillon cubes or home-made spice packets.

· Trail mixes, nuts, raisins.

· Energy bars

· Dried fruit like banana or apple slices. We love dried pomegranate.

· Canned Tuna, chicken, sardines etc. Although this is a little more added weight than the on the go packs.

· Dehydrated meats. Just like with noodles, powdered eggs etc, you must have water to reconstitute the meat.

· Candy; preferably some that won’t melt. We like weathers originals.

· Rice side dishes, like the Lipton rice or Rice-A-Roni.

· Individual camper meals.

· Instant rice with an added bouillon cube or sugar/butter makes a tasty meal.

· Plastic eating utensils and a napkin if needed. A lot of people carry these in their bags, but if your meals are going to be eaten as a quick-lunch you may need them.

· A single pack wet wipe to clean your face and hands to save on water. This is especially good if you have young children.

· You can add a piece of heavy-duty tin foil to fashion a bowl for oatmeal or other hot meals.

· A pack of matches to heat the food if you need to and have some sort of pocket stove in your pack. If you wanted to go a step further then you can purchase trioxane bars to add to your MRE. (That is the heating source used in the original MRE’s)

· To top it off, add a piece of gum to get the food out of your teeth and freshen your breath. (Who wants fish breath, yuck!)

· Daily vitamin wrapped in a piece of tin foil with a piece of dental floss included for when your meal is done. (Some people can’t chew gum.)

These are just a few things you can use to build your own MRE’s. Use your imagination and make something you will enjoy eating!!

Keepin It Spicy,

JalapeƱo Gal

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Growing Tips for the Suburban Survivalist

Urban Man says - if you are not growing anything in your backyard, on your balcony or even on a windowsill then you are not taking advantage of learning new skills sets nor getting the value of growing (and eating) your own healthy food. And least I mention saving money. In a depressed economy or monetary hyper inflation, the value of growing your own food cannot be over stressed.

You cannot open an internet browser without seeing former Senator Ron Paul warning of a dire economic collapse coming soon. This is echoed by Stansberry Research, The International Investor, Zero Hedge and many others.

Even growing a couple tomato plants, maybe a potato patch, or even just a squash mound or two can provide lessons learned on growing foods, give you some confidence and a sense of accomplishment, save you money and you may very well need that small garden to survive.

This is a main stream internet article on growing your own small garden and I re-post it as we cannot read, research or save enough articles on growing foods as I fear we are going to need these skills and soon.

10 Tips For Growing Your Own Food In Your Garden, by Sarah Wexler on Yahoo! Food.

There are plenty of good reasons to grow your own vegetables: you’ll spend less at the grocery store, you’ll know exactly what went into growing them, and you’ll have a sense of pride every time you enjoy that just-plucked-from-the-stem tomato.

“You’ll have a great variety of fruits and vegetables, and they taste so much better than anything from the store that’s been sitting on the shelves for days after it was picked,” says Suzy Hancock, general manager at Portland Nursery in Oregon. It’s true — you’ve never tasted a carrot so sweet or a cucumber so crisp as the ones you eat right from your own garden. Here’s her advice for starting your own successful veggie plot at home.

1. Build raised beds. Pick a part of your yard that gets full sun (that’s four to six hours a day), and construct — or buy pre-made — raised beds. They’re easier to weed and warm up faster than the ground, so you can start planting earlier and get better results. It’s also easy to attach hoops to a raised bed that you can cover in case of cold nights or pests like moths or birds.

2. Fill with good soil. Buy potting soil and mix in native soil from the yard as well as compost, mixing so the ratio is half compost, half soil. Mix in a dry organic fertilizer, which is good for long-term feeding, like E.B. Stone Organics Sure-Start, though you’ll still need to add compost every year to replenish your soil. Since vegetables like a close-to-neutral pH soil, buy a pH testing kit at the nursery and see if your soil is neutral. It’s often too acidic; if so, add lime.

3. Wait for warm nights. In spring, it’s generally safe to plant greens (lettuces, spinach, kale, Swiss chard), cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and peas. Plant other veggies too soon and you could kill your starters, so hold off until nighttime temperatures stay above 55 before planting peppers, tomatoes, and squash. The most cold-sensitive plants are melons and cucumbers, so plant those last, only when you’re fairly sure temps won’t dip again.

4. Plant the right fruits and veggies. Corn isn’t good for a small space, since it takes a lot of room and doesn’t produce much. Though plant starters are often sold in six-packs, don’t be afraid to scrap some or give to a neighbor; one zucchini plant is likely all you need because it’ll produce so many. Raspberries and mint are both invasive, taking over a whole garden if they’re planted, so use containers to keep them separate from the rest of your plot. Fennel doesn’t do well when planted next to veggies and tends to die. Generally, look for dwarf or bush varieties of plants, which don’t take up a lot of space even when they’re fully grown. A genius hack: buy grafted plants (often done with tomatoes), which are two varieties of the fruit or veggie growing from one plant, so you get double the variety without taking up twice the space.

5. Sequester your alliums. Alliums including onions, chives, shallots, leeks, and garlic are so much more fragrant and delicious from your own garden, but they tend not to play well with others; they can have negative effects on artichokes, asparagus, many kinds of beans, lettuces, and peas. Plant your alliums in separate containers or at least two to three rows away from its foes and it won’t be a problem.

6. Stagger your returns. Plant a mix of vegetables that mature over different time frames. That way you’ll have a steady stream of produce over the whole season, rather than so much ripening at once that you’re scrambling to use it all before it goes bad. The little plastic sign that comes with the plant will tell you the average number of days before it matures; at the nursery, look for a mix of traditional and early-maturing plants to spread your haul throughout the season.

7. Consider companion planting. This is a technique of pairing plants together that can benefit from being near each other. For example, basil generally thrives when planted next to tomatoes or peppers, but not as well when its neighbors are beans or cucumbers; find the whole list of happy plant pairings here. Generally, root vegetables like radishes, beets, and carrots do well when planted between leafy greens, since the root veggies take up a lot of space under the soil, while lettuces don’t have very deep roots.

8. Follow spacing guidelines. The plastic signs that come with your plants will give a guideline of how much “personal space” each needs from the plants around it. Rather than thinking you’ll get more veggies if you just pack more of them into your raised bed, crowding them in can reduce air circulation, leading to pests like aphids. If the plant’s instructions say three inches, give it at least three inches, and consider it room to grow.

9. Plant flowers, too. No, you’re not going to eat them, but flowers like marigolds are more than a pretty touch. Though it’s a myth that they keep bugs away, marigolds actually do help your veggies thrive by attracting beneficial insects to your garden.

10. Close up shop. After you’ve harvested your crops and you’re putting your garden to bed for the season, get rid of dead foliage to avoid pests, then cover with a thick layer of compost. Or, plant beneficial cover crops like vetch (in the legume family) or beautiful red-topped crimson clover; when you turn it under in the spring, it will add nitrogen and other nutrients to your soil — making for an even better garden next year.

Urban Man

Friday, April 12, 2013

Unemployed Man's Preps

BillT4 sent this to me: "Thanks for your site. I really like the craft and skills stuff. I lost my job five months ago. My girlfriend who lives with me is still working, so basically I'm a stay at home Dad for our five year old son who won't be starting school until the fall. I have started prepping two years ago. If we had to we could live without my girlfriends job for at least nine months. That would eat up all our savings and food supply. My goal is not to use our preps now and to even expand our food stocks. We have been eating a lot of stuff I have been growing in my green house which I built. I just traded some tomatoes and squash to a neighbor for some cinder blocks he had stacked up. He asked me how I was growing (vegetables) in winter. So I told him about my green house. Now he has contracted me to build him one. Then he called and gave me a phone number to another man who wants a greenhouse built. He is also going to place an ad at the American Legion Hall for me. So now I have some income coming in. I think the custom greenhouse thing will be better in the fall going into winter and hopefully this will also lead to some other carpentry or repair jobs. sincerely, Bill."  

UrbanMan replies: Bill, I could not use the pictures you sent as when I tried to enlarge them, the pixilation made them just a blur. But good for you finding a way to make a living your way. I read a book about building businesses and it talked about doing a Personal Asset Inventory to determine what skills a person has across the business spectrum of providing services, products or information in order to grow a business and make a living. It appears you are doing that. Again good for you. Better yet, it is aligned with preparing for bad times and helping others do the same.

You may want to consider the physical location for your green houses or advise others in this thought. Imagine a collapse, hyper-inflation, greatly reduced access to food and wandering hungry people - who then see a green house.....well you get the picture.

You may also want to consider a blog where you discuss green houses, soil prep, composting, watering systems, growing vegetables, canning or preserving the fruit of your labors, etc.  Lots of different ways to take this concept forward, but one thing is for sure, can't describe yourself as unemployed anymore, are small business man.  

The second e-mail you sent where you traded some vegetables to an older woman for a bunch of hand tools which you plan on saving for future barter or for the flea market is also a great example of barter and prepping but also of expanding your rapport with the neighbors which will be important in a collapse as it will give you a leg up for team building.

Unless a person has a hardened and prepared site with a dedicated water source, you will be stuck like alot of us relying on our urban or suburban neighbors, and them on us, when the collapse comes. Building those relationships now will help you, helping your neighbors grow some of their own food goes along way. But be advised that being prepared for other threats besides starvation are important as well. Consider your security and protection requirements as well as shelter. Given today's ammunition shortages, it would be great if you could barter for ammunition that you could use!   Anyway, good luck and prepare well. 

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Mainstay Energy Bars for SHTF

"Hey Urban man, why do you recommend the survival bars? They taste like crap warmed over. Why not some granola bars. Some of them are pretty yummy.  They are cheaper too, especilly if you buy in bulk.  Why not also add granola mixes or trail mix? TC"

UrbanMan responds: The Mainstay Energy bars are just one of many food items I have.  My stored food plan is fulfilled by stocking food in several different categories:

  • Pantry items - dry, boxed and canned goods. Includes the cereals, granola mixes, nuts, honey, peanut butter, crackers, canned and dry soups, pastas, etc.  Although these foods are usually heavier and bulky for the quantity of food they provide, they are often the easiest to start stocking a survival supply with through getting the "on sale" deals at grocery stores, buying extra cans, boxes or packages - and using them from your pantry in the first in, first out mode.   

  • Long Term bulk items - dehydrated, freezed dried and/or vacuum packed bulk foods items such as grains, vegetables, powdered eggs eggs, rice, beans, etc.  These items, along as you have water, provide the most easily transportable food items, stored in #10 cans in durable cardboard boxes, and in small and larger buckets and barrels, which incidently have additionally uses after you use the food.   

  • Long Term or Medium term Prepared meals such as MRE's, Wise and Mountain House meals.  MRE's of course can be used without preparation while the Wise and Mountain House (and other similar type) need water to re-constitute.

  • Survival Foods such as the Mainstay bars.

I have a good supply of Mainstay Bars, manufactured by (surprise) Mainstay Products, Inc. I mainly have the three serving bars, which is one bar that you can break into three pieces.

Each serving or 1/3rd of the overall bar provides 400 calories, which 210 are from fat:

23 gram of Fat
23 milligrams of Sodium
46 grams of Carbohydrates
2 grams of Dietary Fiber
14 grams of Sugar
3 grams of Protein

Each serving provides the following pecentage of nutrients according to the FDA's Required Daily Allowance of nutrients (%DV):

Vitamin A 50%
Vitamin C 60%
Calcium 50%
 Iron 10%
Thiamin 15%
Riboflavin 25%
Niacin 30%
Vitamin D 50%
Vitamin E 25%
Vitamin B-6 90%
Folic Acid 35%
Vitamin B-12 20%
Phosphrous 40%
Magnesium 30%
Pantothenic Acid 100%

Mainstay Energy Bars have a five year shelf life. I'll bet they'll keep longer if stored correctly. They come in a 1200, 2400 or 3600 calorie packages. I have several of the 1200 and 3600 bars in my Bug Out Kits. I have included these into my food plan to provide food/energy on the go, when stopping is not an option, and, to provide food for when a cold camp or maximum light, noise and scent discipline is necessary.

I also have small bags of various nuts and raisins in my Pantry food group that I would ensure gets distributed into our Bug Out Bags.

While I do not count on these food bars providing the stated % daily Value that is advertised, they are not bad tasting and will provide the two things required of food: nutrients for energy and to maintain life, and, the emotional upswing when your are very hungry and can put food into yourself.

Finally, no survival food plan is complete without a stockpile of seeds to grow your own produce. Obviously the non-hybrid seeds are best so you can continue to grow your own seed stock. I also have cheap packets of vacuum packed hybrid seeds which I can grow vegetables from and use for barter.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Urban Survival - 20 Signs That A Horrific Global Food Crisis Is Coming

Another respected source talking about a probable catalyst of collapse - a global food shortage. Snyder paints a bleak picture. A prudent thing to do is to add Zero Hedge to your list of sites you visit to gather information and update your analysis on possible collapse scenarios.

Article courtesy of Michael Snyder, Economic Collapse from Zero Hedge

In case you haven't noticed, the world is on the verge of a horrific global food crisis. At some point, this crisis will affect you and your family. It may not be today, and it may not be tomorrow, but it is going to happen. Crazy weather and horrifying natural disasters have played havoc with agricultural production in many areas of the globe over the past couple of years. Meanwhile, the price of oil has begun to skyrocket.

The entire global economy is predicated on the ability to use massive amounts of inexpensive oil to cheaply produce food and other goods and transport them over vast distances. Without cheap oil the whole game changes. Topsoil is being depleted at a staggering rate and key aquifers all over the world are being drained at an alarming pace. Global food prices are already at an all-time high and they continue to move up aggressively. So what is going to happen to our world when hundreds of millions more people cannot afford to feed themselves?

Most Americans are so accustomed to supermarkets that are absolutely packed to the gills with massive amounts of really inexpensive food that they cannot even imagine that life could be any other way. Unfortunately, that era is ending.

There are all kinds of indications that we are now entering a time when there will not be nearly enough food for everyone in the world. As competition for food supplies increases, food prices are going to go up. In fact, at some point they are going to go way up.

Let's look at some of the key reasons why an increasing number of people believe that a massive food crisis is on the horizon.

The following are 20 signs that a horrific global food crisis is coming....

#1 According to the World Bank, 44 million people around the globe have been pushed into extreme poverty since last June because of rising food prices.

#2 The world is losing topsoil at an astounding rate. In fact, according to Lester Brown, "one third of the world's cropland is losing topsoil faster than new soil is forming through natural processes".

#3 Due to U.S. ethanol subsidies, almost a third of all corn grown in the United States is now used for fuel. This is putting a lot of stress on the price of corn.

#4 Due to a lack of water, some countries in the Middle East find themselves forced to almost totally rely on other nations for basic food staples. For example, it is being projected that there will be no more wheat production in Saudi Arabia by the year 2012.

#5 Water tables all over the globe are being depleted at an alarming rate due to "overpumping". According to the World Bank, there are 130 million people in China and 175 million people in India that are being fed with grain with water that is being pumped out of aquifers faster than it can be replaced. So what happens once all of that water is gone?

#6 In the United States, the systematic depletion of the Ogallala Aquifer could eventually turn "America's Breadbasket" back into the "Dust Bowl".

#7 Diseases such as UG99 wheat rust are wiping out increasingly large segments of the world food supply.

#8 The tsunami and subsequent nuclear crisis in Japan have rendered vast agricultural areas in that nation unusable. In fact, there are many that believe that eventually a significant portion of northern Japan will be considered to be uninhabitable. Not only that, many are now convinced that the Japanese economy, the third largest economy in the world, is likely to totally collapse as a result of all this.

#9 The price of oil may be the biggest factor on this list. The way that we produce our food is very heavily dependent on oil. The way that we transport our food is very heavily dependent on oil. When you have skyrocketing oil prices, our entire food production system becomes much more expensive. If the price of oil continues to stay high, we are going to see much higher food prices and some forms of food production will no longer make economic sense at all.

#10 At some point the world could experience a very serious fertilizer shortage. According to scientists with the Global Phosphorus Research Initiative, the world is not going to have enough phosphorous to meet agricultural demand in just 30 to 40 years.

#11 Food inflation is already devastating many economies around the globe. For example, India is dealing with an annual food inflation rate of 18 percent.

#12 According to the United Nations, the global price of food reached a new all-time high in February.

#13 According to the World Bank, the global price of food has risen 36% over the past 12 months.

#14 The commodity price of wheat has approximately doubled since last summer.

#15 The commodity price of corn has also about doubled since last summer.

#16 The commodity price of soybeans is up about 50% since last June.

#17 The commodity price of orange juice has doubled since 2009.

#18 There are about 3 billion people around the globe that live on the equivalent of 2 dollars a day or less and the world was already on the verge of economic disaster before this year even began.

#19 2011 has already been one of the craziest years since World War II. Revolutions have swept across the Middle East, the United States has gotten involved in the civil war in Libya, Europe is on the verge of a financial meltdown and the U.S. dollar is dying. None of this is good news for global food production.

#20 There have been persistent rumors of shortages at some of the biggest suppliers of emergency food in the United States. Emergency food suppliers simply cannot get the raw food products fast enough to keep up with overwhelming demand. We do not want to be alarmists, but if you have any plan to purchase an emergency WISE FOOD, FOOD BARS, HONEYVILLE GRAIN, cases of MRE's or anything else, do it now! Do not wait. It may take a few weeks or a month of two to get any of these products, but when -- not if -- the next emergency strikes, people will be hoarding food and water, and most are packing weapons now (guns and ammo) to protect what they have. These people understand (so do terrorists) that the United States is only ONE EVENT AWAY FROM CHAOS.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Urban Survival Preparation and Planning - Planting Fruit Trees

Readers of this site will identify with the concept of Urban living, short to medium term Urban Survival then a initiation of the Bug Out plan to the identified Safe Site.

We have written about caching Survival Gear, Equipment and Supplies near the Safe Location since the Urban Survivalist may not have the ability or time to pack everything up in a vehicle and take it to the safe location. In fact, a worst case scenario is that the Urban Survivalist would have to move on foot overland land to get to the Safe Location therefore only possessing what he/she could carry.

If your safe location is an already owned and occupied site or if it is such a site as Jim's old run down family cabin consider the possibility of planting some fruit trees or maybe even a pecan tree or two.

Every source of food you can grow, cultivate to have access to is going to come in handy. In a perfect post collapse survival world growing your own food using heirloom seeds, having stockpiled dehydrated canned or package food stuffs, having the Survival Equipment and knowledge to procure food through hunting and fishing, and, having fruit and nut trees all would serve to go along way in meeting your nutritional needs.

Even at you Urban Location, which will is most probability only serve for a short or medium term survival location after a full fledged collapse, planing not only a food garden but fruit trees may serve you well.

We recently planted several fruit trees: one apricot tree, one peach tree, and one pear tree to see what grows best in this area and to provide us with fruit during a crunch. Total costs including the trees, top soil and tree nutrients was $120 - fairly cheap in the long run.

Friday, April 2, 2010

EarthWaveLiving Mountain House Food Sale

Earth Wave Living is currently having a sale, 1 April through 15 April on Mountain House Freeze Dried food as well as other Survival and Self Sufficiency oriented products.

20-25% discount use discount code: MH20

EarthWaveLiving offers a full variety of #10 Cans & Pouches by the case; Food Packages to provide food from 6 Months up to 4 Years; Up to 25 Year Shelf Life on Mountain House freeze dried food. Mountain House Freeze Dried food is compact and requiring no cooking – just adding water.

You can access Earth Wave Living through their link on the right side of this page.