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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Where Do Survivalists Shop?

Image representing Craigslist as depicted in C...
The short answer would be "my house" as we are now in the process of liquidating almost everything we own before we head off to travel for a couple of years. Here's where I have noticed that most 'survival-minded' people shop for their gear/supplies:
  • Garage sales. This is an excellent place to shop for nearly everything the survivalist could need including gardening stuff, tools, outdoor gear, household goods, etc. You never know what you will find so it takes a bit of patience to get the "good stuff" but the best things about garage sales is that you buy your stuff on a cash-only basis (no pesky security cameras or credit card paper trail to immortalize your purchase).
  • CraigsList. Similar to garage sales, you are buying (usually) used items but people really do list the most wide-ranging list of items on this popular website. Again, these sales are anonymous, cash-only, no names sales that can net you a lot of great stuff without the Big Brother part.
  • Private sales. Word of mouth can be a great way to sell/buy what you need. Just letting friends know you are looking for a _____ or you want to sell a _____ can bring buyers or sellers to you rather quickly. Buying and selling firearms this way is, as Martha Stewart would say, a good thing.
  • Thrift stores. Another good option is your local thrift store where items may be new (but are usually used) and they are generally much cheaper than what you would find in a regular store. Use cash, not your credit or debit cards here as well.
  • No-name stores. This category includes small businesses that sell antiques, re-sell items (generally that the owner has gleaned at estate sales and auctions), etc. Usually these stores prefer cash sales but they often accept credit cards as well.
  • Auctions. My granddad couldn't pass up a good auction. There are plenty of deals to be had if you know what you are doing at an auction and while these places are more competitive than garage/estate sales, you can also walk away with some pretty good stuff for very little money (depending...I usually avoid auctions in cities as everyone and their brother comes to these and often bid up to more than the value of an item which is both annoying and flies in the face of getting a good deal).
  • The big box stores. Sometimes you just need certain items that you either can't wait to buy at the places listed above or can't find. So off you go to the local Walmart or Home Depot to acquire said items. A caveat...shopping at these places will create a digital trail of your visit. If I had a quarter for every murderer who I have seen on surveillance video at one of these stores buying duct tape, zip ties, a shovel, a garbage can, sheet plastic...you get the idea.
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Long Term Food Storage Shelf Life Listing

A jar of honey
I wrote this post for another message board I frequent but felt that people here could also benefit.

If these items are properly packaged in 5 gallon buckets in sealed Mylar bags with O2 absorbers the following shelf lives can be applied. Once packed, they must be stored in a dry location where the temperature is at or below room temperature (75 degrees F; 24 degrees C) the cooler the better. If anyone can locate documentation to extend any shelf lives please let me know and I will edit this list.
Initially this list was only for the above packing method. I am now expanding it to include Canned (mason Jar) Items but I will note if its is a packing method other then Mylar.

Metal packed items like store bought green beans or carrots have a "Best By" or "Use By" date on the can, this is not an expiration date but merely a recommendation. Most items packed industrially by this method will still be good three and even four years past the "best by" date. If the can is bulging or the contents smell bad or off throw it away immediately and to not taste it to check. There are many, many posts on this forum about people eating canned foods way past the "use by" date with no ill affects.

>>> Some of the links will take you to an different preparedness message board. I apologize but that is where I found the information. <<<

Indefinite Storage Life Items:

Raw Honey (do not pack in Mylar... what a mess that would be)
White Sugar

30 Year Items:

Hard Grains (Whole)
-Corn, Dry
-Durum wheat
-Hard red wheat
-Hard white wheat
-Soft wheat
-Special bake wheat
Oats (whole or rolled)
-Adzuki Beans
-Blackeye Beans
-Black Turtle Beans
-Garbanzo Beans
-Great Northern
-Kidney Beans
-Lima Beans
-Mung Beans
-Pink Beans
-Pinto Beans
-Small Red Beans
-Soy Beans
Powdered Milk
Potato Flakes
Dried Apple Slices.
Dehydrated Vegetables

20 Year Items:

10 - 15 Year Items:

Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP)
Dehydrated Dairy Products
-Cheese Powder
-Cocoa Powder
-Powder Eggs
-Butter/Margarine Powder
-Whey Powder

8 – 10 Year Items:

Soft Grains (Whole)
-Hulled or Pearled Oat
Brown Rice

3 - 5 Year Items:

Peanut Butter Powder
Coffee (Possibly Longer. Minor flavor loss in the first 2 weeks)
Bottled Butter (3 years google "bottled butter" or visit Wendy DeWitt's blog)
Chocolate (Vacuum packed in canning jars)
Meats** (See Note)
Brown Sugar (Vacuum packed in canning jars)

1 - 2 year Items:

Flours* and Other Products Made From Cracked/Ground Seed
Yeast (1 year if frozen)
Fresh Eggs 1 year (lightly coated in mineral oil and stored point down in a cool place. I have not tested this yet)

*Flour stored longer than a year or two will make perfect looking loafs of bread but the bread will taste bad. LDS package flour in #10 cans with O2 absorbers and give it a 10 year shelf life. SO this remains up in the air and I would suggest testing and erring on the side of caution.

**For the method of safely bottling meats please see Wendy DeWitt's blog below.

Useful Links:
Why to Keep Quiet About Your Preps. <--Everyone read this
Food Storage Mylar & Buckets Video
Food Storage Calculator (A good starting point for the beginner)
LDS 30 Year Extension Message
Other Shelf Lives
Stock Rotating Storage for Canned Goods
LDS Preparedness Manual
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