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Monthly Archives: October 2013

  • Datrex Water Pouches

    I received this guest post a few weeks ago, and I've been excited to share it with you. Jeff has found some fun and unique ways to use Datrex Water Pouches in his daily activities. It’s always nice to have some water on hand, and Jeff uses them for more than drinking.
    Thanks Jeff!


    We purchased a case of the Datrex Water Pouches with the intention of using them for camping trips.  We keep them in the refrigerator so they are ready to go whenever we are ready for a trip.

    However, we have discovered so many more uses for them than just camping.  We also hike, bike, raft, and walk in the great outdoors.  We are able to make great use of the water pouches for all of our activities.

    We pack lunches when we are biking and hiking, and freeze several of the pouches to keep our lunch cold until we are ready to eat.  Then, after eating, we can drink the water that is in the pouch.  The pouch is usually not completely thawed, so we use the frozen portion as ice for our water bottles.

    The pouches take up very little space in our packs and bike bags, and are very light, which makes them perfect for outdoor activities.

    When we take MRE’s with us on our trips, one pouch is perfect for filling the MRE heater.

    The pouches are easy to pack after they are empty, which makes sure nothing is left behind when we leave the area where we stopped to eat.

    One other thought that we had about the pouches is that if they are frozen, they could be used for emergency ice packs for a sprain or injury while in the great outdoors.

    We also use them for our lunches for work, as they work as great ice packs to keep our food cold until we are ready to eat.

    These little pouches of joy are good for so many uses that the list could go on and on.  I am sure that we will continue to find new uses for them.

    Give them a try – You will not be sorry!


    -Jeff W, UT

  • Baby Steps: Gathering Fire Making Supplies

    Gathering fire making supplies

    We’ve been talking a lot about fire lately—how to Build a Fire without Matches, how to Prevent Kitchen Fires, etc. Most of us have matches and maybe a lighter on our list of emergency supplies, but how many of us would have to scramble for everything else (you know, wood?) if we needed to get a fire going?  Here are some things you may not have on that list to help you gather fire making supplies.

    Tinder –Lots of different things can be used for tinder, and some are easier (and cleaner) to store than others. My personal favorite is dryer lint—I keep a jar in my laundry room and fill it regularly, then transfer it to a plastic ziplock for emergency packs. Discounting what you could find in the wild, here are some other easy tinder materials you could collect and store for your fire making supplies: wood shavings or sawdust, cotton fabric or cotton balls, frayed natural (jute) twine, char cloth, paper (Kleenex, toilet paper, newspaper, paper towel), or steel wool.

    Fire starters – You can’t go wrong with a supply of waterproof matches, like UCO Stormproof. Watch the video below to see UCO Stormproof matches in action.


    Some survivalists recommend keeping matches in a few different places (emergency pack, car, coat pocket), just in case. A less disposable idea might be getting a more durable fire starter and storing it with your fire making supplies. They won’t last indefinitely, but they’re good for anywhere from a hundred to a couple thousand sparks, depending on the material, and they store a little more conveniently than matches.

    Another way to get your fire started is using a gel fuel like Utility Flame. Simply squeeze the gel onto your tinder then light using a match or lighter. The gel will heat up and begin to burn your tinder, starting your flame. The gel burns for fifteen minutes, giving you enough time to collect kindling and fuel to keep the fire going. Utility Flame comes in handy little packets that are perfect for backpacks and emergency kits. 

    Fuel – For those of us who grew up without gas fireplaces (what do you mean, ‘switch it on’?), woodpiles were a part of life. They’re a rarer feature these days, but could be a lifesaver in an emergency. Whether you buy it by the cord or cut down your own tree branches and logs, there are important considerations regarding storage. Primarily, you want to keep firewood covered, but not enclosed; good ventilation is key to “seasoning,” or properly drying the wood.

    Alternatively, if you need to get and keep a fire burning somewhere away from your immaculately stacked woodpile, a firestarter like Fired Up! can save time and space. For fuel in bulk, Fired Up! comes in 12 oz. cans , 2.5 lb. cans, or 13 lb. buckets, and can store for 30+ years.

    First aid – So, maybe you got that fire burning just a little too hot. Don’t forget burn treatment along with all your other fire making supplies. BurnFree’s comprehensive line of burn treatment products includes everything from a fire blanket to treat full-body burns, to single dose packets of pain relief gel. Burnfree is specifically developed for first aid use on burns and scalds. By storing Burnfree in your camping or emergency supplies, you can begin to care for burns properly before it creates any devastating effects to your body. Burnfree allows you to treat burns in a variety of situations and of various degrees.

    Any other fire-related storage must-haves? What’s in your supply?


  • How to Make Homemade Baby Food from Food Storage

     Homemade Baby food from food storage

    Here’s a unique way to use your food storage: make baby food! If you’ve got little ones, having a supply of homemade baby food on hand could help you save money and assure you that the food you’re feeding your baby isn’t full of preservatives. Since many freeze dried foods come chopped, sliced, and peeled, cooking baby food with food storage will cut the prep time at least in half.

    The best part is that you can use this pre-made baby food every day or store it for an emergency. If you make and can your own baby food, you can have supplies ready to toss in a grab and go bag if you need to evacuate, or ready at home if you have to shelter in place.

    Here are some recipes and tips for making baby food from food storage.   

    Mango Blueberry Puree (ages 6 months +)

    1 ½ C Provident Pantry® Freeze Dried Mango Chunks

    1 C MyChoice™ Freeze Dried Blueberries

    1 C Provident Pantry®  Freeze Dried Banana Dices

    Reconstitute ingredients following the directions on the can. Place all ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend to desired consistency. Serve.

    Variation for adults: Put all reconstituted ingredients into a blender with 1- 1 1/2 C reconstituted Provident Pantry Non-fat Dry milk for a smoothie. Add milk until smoothie reaches your desired consistency. (The smoothie is rather tasty! I HIGHLY recommend making it for yourself as a treat.)

    Blueberry, Spinach, and Apple Puree (ages 6 months +)

    1 C MyChoice™  Freeze Dried Blueberries

    2 C Mountain House®  Freeze Dried Apple Slices

    A Handful MyChoice™ Freeze Dried Spinach

    Reconstitute ingredients following directions on the can. Place all ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend to desired consistency. Serve.

    Spinach, Apple, and Blackberry (ages 6 months +)

    1 C MyChoice™  Freeze Dried Spinach

    2 C Mountain House®  Freeze Dried Apple Slices

    1 C MyChoice™  Freeze Dried Blackberries

    Reconstitute ingredients following directions on the can. Place all ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend to desired consistency. Serve.

    Tip: Make sure that the Blackberry seeds are blended well. Also, be aware that the Spinach has a strong taste. Consider adding more apples if needed.

    Tips for Cooking Baby Food from Food Storage

    • Many baby food recipes for fresh produce suggest boiling the food before you puree it, and using the water it was boiled in to preserve nutrients.
    • Once you rehydrate the fruits and veggies, they’ll already be soft, so you can skip the boiling step (unless boiling is called for in the directions to rehydrate the food) to preserve nutrients.
    • Use a little bit of the water that you drain from the fruits and veggies after re-hydrating to put into your puree to add nutrients.
    • You can make baby food in a blender or food processor. You may want to also consider getting a hand-operated food processor like this Food Strainer or the Kitchen Plus 2000 so you can puree baby food quickly and easily—with or without electricity.
    • Be adventurous and try new combinations—add or subtract ingredients to your taste.


    How to Store Baby Food from Food Storage

    • If you store your baby food in an ice tray, it will last in the freezer for up to three months! You can also use Ziploc bags, breast milk bags, or Tupperware to freeze your baby food in and to take with you on the go.
    • According to the USDA, it is safe to can homemade baby foods made from fruits that are highly acidic. The [USDA website] provides a chart for canning pint size and half pint size jars using a boiling water bath.
    • Do NOT can pureed veggies, low-acid fruits, or red meats or poultry meats using a boiling water bath (even tomatoes that are high in acid and considered a fruit). You will have to use a pressure canner like the All American Pressure Canner to preserve baby food recipes with these ingredients.


    Other Baby and Toddler Friendly Food Storage Items to check out: Food storage items are also great for toddlers because they’re great finger foods  and snacks that are soft and easy to eat. Here are some other food storage items that are good for babies and toddlers.

    Provident Pantry®  Yogurt Bites

    Provident Pantry®  Fruits and Veggies

    Provident Pantry®  Pudding

    Provident Pantry®  Dairy, Eggs, and Meat (depending on your baby’s age, items like white chicken meat dices could go over well)

    Have you ever made baby food from food storage? What’s your favorite recipe?


    Recipe Sources:




    Sources for Making Homemade Baby Food



    Sources about Canning Homemade Baby food Safely




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