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Monday, March 8, 2010

Peanut Butter: Great Bug Out Food or Greatest Bug Out Food?

Peanut butter has some awesome qualities--the biggest (aside from yummyness) is its nutritional density. Peanut butter packs an awful lot into of nutrition per ounce--it's nutritionally dense, doesn't require preparation or refrigeration. As an example, a 1.5 ounce packet of MRE peanut butter contains 250 calories, 21 grams of fat, 10 grams of carbohydrate and 10 grams of protein. For just over a pound of weight, you can carry 11 packets of MRE PB--giving you 2750 calories, 231g of fat, 110g carbohydrate and 110g of protein!

In comparison, a typical Mountain House meal-in-a-bag weights around 8 ounces and contains approximately 600 calories, 16g fat, 80g carbohydrate, and 30g of protein. Two Mountain House meals (about a pound--not including water needed to cook and rehydrate them!) would have only about 1200 calories, 32g of fat, 160g carbs and 60g of protein! Peanut butter wins on all fronts except carbs.

Aside from dense nutrients, peanut butter requires NO cooking, heating, re-hydration or refrigeration. You can eat it on the move, spread it on crackers or bread and enjoy. Since it requires no cooking, there's none of the associated cooking gear, mess, fire or smell. That's ideal for a bugout, where you will probably NOT have time or a secure location to stop, cook and eat. It won't melt in hot weather. It works as an excellent bait for traps. Finally, its not some weird exotic survival food, but something that most of us have eaten since childhood. That means that you'll eat it in a non-emergency situation--thus making sure that it stays rotated and current--and it also means that your kids will eat it without out a fight. My little son--currently a very picky eater--even loves the stuff--here he is swiping a packet out of my Camelbak.

You can certainly just throw a couple jars of the old PB and a box of crackers in your BOB and have some solid bug out food ready to go. Personally, I prefer the little MRE single-serving packets of peanut butter. They're durable, handy and easy to work with. You can either squirt PB into your mouth or onto your bread or crackers; very clean, no need to dig around in a jar. The size and pliability makes them are easy cram and squish into small open spaces in your pack. The MRE packing helps to ensure a long shelf life. I actually need to restock--I went through most of my stash by eating them with Ritz crackers for quick lunches at work! The MRE peanut butter is just that good--it tastes like PB from the jar! I've got PB packets in my BOB, EDC bag and plan to stash some in my vehicle kits.

NOTE: Sopakco recalled their civilian MRE-style Peanut Butter packets during the salmonella scare last year. You can read more about this here: http://www.mreinfo.com/civilian/mre/sopakco-sure-pak-12-mre-recall.html  It doesn't look like the military packaged Peanut Butter packs (like those in the above pictures) were affected.

It looks like Emergency Essentials has 'em in stock for .50 a piece (a pretty good deal); found here.

Homemade Firewood: How to Make Logs from Newspaper

I’m always looking for new ways of of using common household materials in a survival situation. The other day I came across how you can take old newspapers and turn them into logs that can be used for fuel similar to any other log.

How to Make Logs from Newspaper

Step 1: Soak the Newspaper

The first thing you need to do is soak the newspaper it a sink or bucket. It helps to separate the newspapers into its smaller sections.

Step 2: Drain and Lay Out the Paper

After completely saturating the paper (usually by soaking for at least an hour) pull the paper from the water, let it drain completely and then lay it out into sections of 1-3 sheets — staggered much like fallen dominoes.

Step 3: Roll the Wet Newspaper Around a Dowel

Then take a dowel and roll the wet paper around it squeezing the paper as it’s rolled to ensure that it sticks together.

Step 4: Continue Rolling Until Desired Thickness is Acheived

Continue with the above step until you’ve rolled the newspaper log into your desired thickness.

Step 5: Thoroughly Dry your New Newspaper Log

Slide off the paper log and let it dry for a few days (a lot quicker if you place it on a woodstove, outside in the sun or in front of the heating vents. Basically anywhere where the moisture will come off quicker.

Lighting Your Newspaper Firewood

If you’ve made these correctly, they should be pretty dense. Because of this, you cannot simply take your bic and light them up like you would newspaper. Treat them just like any other wood log in that they require smaller sticks or kindling to light. And just like wood logs, you’ll need a good bed of coals or at least a pair of logs to maintain the burn.
These paper “logs” will also produce more ash than traditional logs. Just be sure they are completely dry before burning and you’ll be able surprised at the heat output that your old newspaper can give off.

Related posts:

  1. Homemade Lamps from Everyday Objects

How to Build Your Food Storage On Only $5 a Week

Think you can’t handle the price of food storage? Think again.
I was over at LDSPreppers today and found a great post in the forums by “AZPrepper”. He basically came up with a list of $5 food items that you can purchase each week for a year to build up your food storage for you and someone else.
Although he mentions that some of the food costs may have changed, the general concept and estimate should still be worth your while.
Here’s the list of what to buy each week:

  • Week 1: 6 lbs salt
  • Week 2: 5 cans cream of chicken soup
  • Week 3: 20 lbs of sugar
  • Week 4: 8 cans tomato soup
  • Week 5: 50 lbs wheat
  • Week 6: 6 lbs macaroni
  • Week 7: 20 lbs sugar
  • Week 8: 8 cans tuna
  • Week 9: 6 lbs yeast
  • Week 10: 50 lbs wheat
  • Week 11: 8 cans tomato soup
  • Week 12: 20 lbs sugar
  • Week 13: 10 lbs powdered milk
  • Week 14: 7 boxes macaroni & cheese
  • Week 15: 50 lbs wheat
  • Week 16: 5 cans cream of chicken soup
  • Week 17: 1 bottle 500 multi-vitamins
  • Week 18: 10 lbs powdered milk
  • Week 19: 5 cans cream of mushroom soup
  • Week 20: 50 lbs wheat
  • Week 21: 8 cans tomato soup
  • Week 22: 20 lbs sugar
  • Week 23: 8 cans tuna
  • Week 24: 6 lbs shortening
  • Week 25: 50 lbs wheat
  • Week 26: 5 lbs honey
  • Week 27: 10 lbs powdered milk
  • Week 28: 20 lbs sugar
  • Week 29: 5 lbs peanut butter
  • Week 30: 50 lbs wheat
  • Week 31: 7 boxes macaroni & cheese
  • Week 32: 10 lbs powdered milk
  • Week 33: 1 bottle 500 aspirin
  • Week 34: 5 cans cream of chicken soup
  • Week 35: 50 lbs wheat
  • Week 36: 7 boxes macaroni & cheese
  • Week 37: 6 lbs salt
  • Week 38: 20 lbs sugar
  • Week 39: 8 cans tomato soup
  • Week 40: 50 lbs wheat
  • Week 41: 5 cans cream of chicken soup
  • Week 42: 20 lbs sugar
  • Week 43: 1 bottle 500 multi-vitamins
  • Week 44: 8 cans tuna
  • Week 45: 50 lbs wheat
  • Week 46: 6 lbs macaroni
  • Week 47: 20 lbs sugar
  • Week 48: 5 cans cream of mushroom soup
  • Week 49: 5 lbs honey
  • Week 50: 20 lbs sugar
  • Week 51: 8 cans tomato soup
  • Week 52: 50 lbs wheat
He also mentions that some weeks you will have leftover change. Instead of spending it, put aside the change each week to be used for the weeks you may need more than $5 (like for wheat, milk, etc). Also be sure to lookout for sales. This way you can jump ahead and cross items off the list where there are great bargains.
After you have completed this list, you will end up with:
  • 500 lbs of wheat
  • 180 lbs of sugar
  • 40 lbs of powdered milk
  • 12 lbs of salt
  • 10 lbs of honey
  • 5 lbs of peanut butter
  • 45 cans of tomato soup
  • 15 cans of cream of mushroom soup
  • 15 cans of cream of chicken soup
  • 24 cans of tuna
  • 21 boxes of macaroni & cheese
  • 500 aspirin
  • 1000 multi-vitamins
  • 6 lbs of yeast
  • 6 lbs of shortening
  • 12 lbs of macaroni
I calculated that this amount of food has around 1,249,329 calories which based on a 2000 calorie a day diet will provide enough food for two people for 312 days! That’s almost one whole year for two people on $5 a week! Even if the price was double that, at $10 a week you’re only paying around $40/month in grocery bills. Try to beat that…

Related posts:

  1. Food Storage Basics: Step 4 – Non-Food Items
  2. The Weekly Tactical Touch-Point: Reorganizing My Food Storage Edition
  3. Food Storage Basics: Step 3 – Long Term Storage

DIY Homemade Water Filter

Here is an excellent resource for building your own water filter. Commercial filters can cost you a ton of money. By building it yourself, you can trim up to 50% off of the initial cost of buying a commercial filter.

Home Made Berkey Water Filter
Three-day-old sunflower seedlings

What to Know When Buying Seeds For Survival

By Tess Pennington

In a disaster scenario, where there are food shortages, survival seeds could be more precious than gold. It will mean the difference between life and death for some. When buying seeds for a survival garden or homestead, there are certain considerations that one should be aware of before purchasing.

Buy Heirloom, Open Pollinated and Non-GMO (non genetically modified)
When buying seeds for a survival garden, or homestead, make sure that the seeds purchased are open pollinated, heirloom and non hybrid seeds. These have not been genetically modified and will still have the capacity to produce viable seeds for their crops.

How Many Seeds are Needed
Do research to find how many crops are produced by each plant and take into account how many members of the family will be eating the crops. Typically, a person does not need to use an entire packet unless they are on a farm.

Longevity of Seeds
Seeds are alive, and will expire. If they are not stored properly, there longevity is depleted. There are many survival seed websites that offer seeds that only last 1-2 years. When preparing to buy seeds, find out from the seed distributor how old the seeds are. Furthermore, do some research and find out which seeds last longer than others and what the best ways are to store the seeds. Typically, larger seeds such as corn, beans and melon seeds last longer than the smaller seeds like carrots.

Some of the longer lasting seeds are:
Broccoli - 4-5 years

Brussel Sprouts - 4-5 years

Cabbage - 4-5 years

Cantaloupe - 6-10 years

Cucumbers - 5-7

Sunflowers - 4-6 years

Kohlrabi - 4-5 years

Tomato - 4-7 years

Turnip - 5-8 years

Watermelon - 4-6 years

Packaging and Storage
Finding out from the retailer how the seeds are stored and if they are stored for long term use will save a person the headache of doing it themselves. Seeds should be stored in an airtight container where the natural elements such as sunlight, warmth, oxygen and moisture cannot get to them.

Seeds can be properly stored by using different methods:
Packaging seeds by using zip loc bags placed into paper bags so sunlight cannot get through. Paper envelopes placed in air tight jars. Vacuum sealed bags.

Many people use their refrigerators, freezers and basements as a storage facility for seeds. Seeds can become damaged do to exposure of high and low temperatures. Additionally, keeping seeds at room temperature will cause the embryo to consume its stored sugars within the seed casing and will either get too weak to germinate or die altogether. Find the best ways to store seeds according to the area you live in. For example, a person who lives in a high humid producing area would want to package their seeds differently than someone who lives in a low humid producing area.

Find out from the seed retailer if the seeds are guaranteed. In the event that the seeds are not viable, and do not produce, a person would want their money refunded from the seed distributor. Contacting the company and asking will help ensure there is a guarantee.

Seeds hold the key to long term survival. By making sure that seeds are the right type and in the best condition for future use will ensure that they will be ready for growing when a person needs them the most.

Tess Pennington is the lead content contributor for http://www.readynutrition.com. Ready Nutrition is an educational resource for those wanting to learn more about home safety preparedness, learning how to cope in disaster situations, and for those wanting to learn how to be more self sustaining. Her career at the American Red Cross left her with years of experience in safety and disaster preparedness. Tess is establishing herself as one of the foremost authorities on safety development and disaster preparedness on the internet. She describes herself as a mixture of Martha Stewart and Les Stroud.

Tess Pennington's work today encompasses:
• Teaching disaster preparedness
• Informing readers about the importance of preparing for any given situation.
• Writing
• Speaking
• Media consultation
Tess lives in Texas with her husband and three rambunctious children.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Tess_Pennington


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Take Advantage of the Gifts You've Been Given
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Food is Power