Second only to firearms and plenty of ammunition in a SHTF prepper scenario is daily nutrition: The ability to feed and sustain yourself for a long period of time, since you probably won’t have any idea how long the emergency will last and how soon “help” will arrive (if ever).
So while you’ve no doubt seen the “lists” of items some people believe you ought to hoard long before such a crisis hits, let’s face it: Many of them are simply unrealistic. That’s because you’d need thousands of dollars and a half-dozen basements to hold all of that stuff.
The fact is, there are a number of food and sustenance items out there that you can not only collect and store long-term, but do so cheaply and with a limited amount of space.
Let’s take a look at 10 of the handiest items (in terms of actually sustaining you with decent nutrition over a longer period of time):
- Bottled water: Yeah, this seems like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised by how many people think they have enough water — but in reality, they don’t. The easy (and cheaper) way to stock up on water is to simply pick up a 24-pack or two of bottled water once a week at your local grocery store or corner market. It’s stackable and thus, very portable. You’ll be surprised how much you can collect in three months.
- Canned liquids: Think vegetable juice, pineapple juice, etc. Since they come in a can, they are storable long-term, and by drinking them you get nutrition and hydration. Plus, you can buy them cheaply by the box (so you can stack-and-store them more easily).
- Dehydrated foods: Milk, whey, eggs and other foods come in powdered form, to be reconstituted with water. If you’ve got a decent supply of water outside of your bottled source, this is a great source of portable affordable nutrition that packs calories, protein and vitamins.
- Hard cheeses: Encased in wax, they won’t grow mold or produce bacteria. Also, the wax keeps moisture in, and cheese in this form can be stored for some time without refrigeration.
- Protein bars and protein drinks: Again, these are long-term storable, very stackable, and chock-full of nutrients, protein, vitamins and minerals. Plus, many of them contain a decent amount of calories, so you can eat one or two of them throughout the day and get plenty of calories to sustain you and stretch your overall food supplies.
- Canned/dehydrated meats: If you don’t yet own a meat dehydrator, you really should think about purchasing one. They come in handy by giving you the flexibility to produce and store as much meat as you want, on your time. But barring that, you can also pick up pre-packaged dehydrated/canned meat for a reasonable price in the store.
- Drink mixes: Again, these require water to reconstitute, but powdered drink mixes in pouches or jars do contain decent amounts of vitamin C, nutrients and calories, which you very well may need if you’re bugging out to a location that will require physical labor to maintain (and patrol). One caveat: Powdered coffee can lead to dehydration, so while you may want a cup in the morning, don’t plan on drinking a lot of it.
- Oils: Coconut, olive, and organic oils keep for a long time and can be used in food preparation. (RELATED: ORGANIC SURVIVAL FOOD: Health Ranger Launches Non-GMO, Certified Organic Survival Food Instant Meals Delivering Real Nutrition, Not Junk Calories)
- Cereals: I knew guys who largely subsisted on dry cereal for weeks at a time when they were deployed in Iraq or Afghanistan. They’d eat a meal a day (usually consisting of an MRE if they were out on patrol) but in garrison, they’d essentially drink water and snack on dried cereal. Cereal contains lots of vitamins, minerals, nutrients, and you don’t need milk.
- Oatmeal: You can eat oatmeal uncooked, though that’s not the best way of course. But it is nutritional and small pouches of various oatmeal flavors can be prepared using just a little hot water, for a great nutritional meal and good caloric intake. Plus, oatmeal stores long-term.
There you have it. While there are other items, of course, these will get you through long-term. As a bonus, it wouldn’t hurt to have several cases of those MREs I mentioned above; they have so many nutrients and calories that you can get by with only consuming one per day.
Plus, this variety is much healthier than some of the garbage you could be storing long-term.