There is a lot that goes into prepping. We all know we need to stock up on food, but we aren’t always sure what needs to go in our emergency food supply. Every prepper should have a fully stocked pantry in case of emergency and we’ve got a few tips and tricks for you to start yours or update it a little to give maximum preparedness.
Start by getting water. Water is essential to having a successful pantry in an emergency. You will need it to cook many things and clean up messes, not to mention you can’t survive without it for longer than three days. Products like dehydrated and freeze dried foods need water to be edible. According to Utah State University, a family of four needs 270 gallons of water to have a three month supply, or 90 gallons per person. There are many things that require water so you can never have too much.
Many people go for canned foods and MREs (meals ready to eat) when stocking up their pantry, but these aren’t always the right choice. Those are good basics to have just in case you run out of everything, but start with foods you know your family will eat. You don’t want to take them totally out of their comfort zone and people are more likely to stay optimistic if there is something familiar to them. Buy items you know your family will eat in bulk when they go on sale in order to stock up. Foods you think will be easy to buy and store but your family might not like can be implemented into your diet before a disaster so when the time comes, they will be used to the food. You should also Make sure you try items to make sure they will be eaten before you buy too much.
If you learn to can or dehydrate food, you might be able to increase your stockpile faster and cheaper. Dehydrating food isn’t the fastest process, but it is a healthy and rewarding process. Your family will be able to eat all the foods they’re used to without it taking up as much space to save or effort to make. Canning isn’t for everyone, but it can be a cheaper alternative to buying canned foods and you know exactly what is going into the food you’re feeding your family. Here is a beginner’s guide to canning.
When you think of pantry, you think of food. Things like cleaning or sanitation supplies don’t really come to mind, but they are just as important as food to making a useful survival pantry. You’re going to need some disinfectants to clean up mess or pots after cooking. If the sewer system isn’t working, you’re going to need somethings to get rid of waste products, like buckets and heavy duty trash bags. Dish soap and laundry detergent should round out your cleaning supplies. You can’t wear the same thing every day and might want to wash your hands every once in awhile. Other bigger items like a washboard, broom and drying rack aren’t entirely necessary, but aren’t a horrible addition to your pantry.
Now you have all the essential foods, but how are you going to cook them? Pots, pans, bowls, and a grill are vital to have in your pantry. Cooking on an open fire might not always be a possibility and you will want to have a backup grill for those times. While everyone else is worrying about how they’re going to eat, you’ll be sitting in comfort with your meal cooked on your camping grill. Gas for your grill is something we overlook as well. And for when you are cooking on an open fire, you can take the cooking grate off your camping stove to grill your food. You’re killing two birds with one stone having that grill. Stock up on paper plates and plastic utensils so you don’t have the hassle of cleaning dishes when you’re already dealing with the hassle of the world ending.
There are many skills preppers need to learn (ACLS renewal, CPR certification, water purification, gun safety), but knowing how to create a well stocked pantry is the most important. We can survive without knowing how to shoot a gun, but we absolutely cannot survive more than a few days without food and the proper equipment to eat.
Ryan is an emergency preparedness blogger who is passionate about helping others prepare for the worst. Follow Ryan on Twitter, @ryan_thompson03, for more emergency preparedness tips.