Monthly Archives: October 2013

  • Hunting season is upon us, which, in my neck of the woods, means absent husbands and full freezers (elk casserole, anybody?). But before that husband of mine goes missing for the fall, I thought I’d have him do a little window shopping at Emergency Essentials and make a list of his most coveted hunting gear. Check these out for the hunter in your house, or treat yourself to an early Christmas present before you bag the big one.

    1. Dawn and dusk are when the game is afoot. Make those chilly mornings and brisk evenings bearable with a hot drink from your Kelly Kettle

    Kelly Kettle combo - Stainless Steel

    2. Clean water is a must in any outdoor scenario—or, as my hunter-husband so delicately puts it, “diarrhea sucks.” Because boiling water out on the trail isn’t always feasible, he prefers a carry-along water filter, like the Katadyn Vario Microfilter Water Filtration System, which is both lightweight and straightforward to use.

    Katadyn Vario Water Filter from Emergency Essentials

    3. Handy for gathering firewood on snowy nights, or as a back-up bone saw for gutting, the Deluxe Folding Saw  is the kind of tool you can never have too many of.

    Deluxe Folding Saw

    4. Some strong, multi-purpose paracord has a hundred uses for the hunter, not the least of which is having to drag shot game through brush, up a hill, or behind a four-wheeler (don’t ask…long story). Make sure you know your knots!


    5. If you’ve ever been caught tracking an animal into the night, a headlamp, like the Princeton Tec Byte LED Headlamp is invaluable. Find your way safely through the brush, while keeping your hands free for the shot.

    Princeton Tec Byte Headlamp

    6. This last one is a no-brainer. Even the hardest-core hunter will want to keep his cell phone, GPS, and two-way radio charged while he’s battling nature. You know, in case of emergency…or to upload triumphant Facebook pictures…or to browse Pinterest in his downtime. The Solar 4-in-1 Plus Battery Charger  can charge both external batteries and electronic devices, and comes with all the cables and adapters you need.

    Solar 4-in-1 Plus Battery Charger

    And don't forget trusty Mountain House for great food with nothing more than hot water required on your part.


    Anything else you’ve found crucial in your recent outings?


    Posted In: Uncategorized

  •  Basic survival skills: know how to build a campfire

    I don’t know about you, but the last thing I want to be doing during an emergency is reading an instruction manual. All the gear in the world—and I know, there’s some pretty sweet gear out there—is not going to build that shelter or clean that water by itself. As crucial as stocking up on the right supplies is, we also need to be actively building a base of survival skills to call on in a crisis. We can’t all be Bear Grylls, but the following list and resources offers a good place to start.

    So here is a list of the top Five Survival Skills (or How to Make an Emergency Less Scary) that all new and experienced preppers should know.


    1. Water

    Pop quiz: Which of the following will kill you fastest?

    • Lack of food
    • Lack of heat
    • Lack of water

    You guessed it—water should be your #1 concern in a disaster. Storing water will help you at home; purifying water will help you when you’re not close to a clean supply. However, purifying water can also help you at home as well. If officials issue a boil order or you’re concerned about the safety of your at home water supply you’ll want to purify your water. Check out our Insight Article, “Water Filtration and Purification” to learn more. But everyone should know the basics of water collection for survival. has a handy-dandy tutorial about collecting water for survival.


    2. Shelter

    Basic survival skills: Building a shelter

    What do dry grass, garbage sacks, and a fallen tree have in common? They could all keep you from freezing. Knowing how to raise your ultra-light, four-man, double-walled tent in under six minutes won’t help you if you’re caught in the outdoors without it. You’ll need to know how to build a backup shelter out of natural resources if you don’t have that fancy tent on hand. Our Insight article, “Emergency Shelter” tells you how to construct 10+ emergency shelters with little or no gear. Learn just one, and you’re better prepared than you were yesterday.


    3. Fire

    By all means, keep torches, lighters, and waterproof matches handy. And you’re one step ahead of the game if you’ve been collecting dryer lint or newspaper for tinder. But could you get a flame going without all that on hand? Been a while since Scout camp? Brush up on your fire starter skills by watching one of seven video tutorials from the guys at  (wait for it…)



    4. First aid

    We recently devoted a whole blog series to beefing up your first aid skills (check out August 2013 in our archives). Don’t know where to start? Learn the Heimlich maneuver.


    5. Food

    This is kind of a cheat category. Being able to eat during an emergency includes a variety of survival skills from hunting and foraging to gardening and canning—and frankly, you’d be doing great if you knew a little about each of those skills. You can become a gardening expert by browsing the “gardening tag” on our blog.  You can also develop your food preservation skills by checking out the “canning section” of our blog as well.


    But let’s assume the worst. If you were stranded in the woods, miles from your stockpile of freeze-dried entrees and canned peaches, what could you do? Check out these  list of forage-friendly eats from the Chicago Tribune, the Daily Green, and Before you start foraging in your neck of the woods, get a plan guide and get familiar with local plant life.


    These are good starting points to begin developing your survival skills. Pick one thing to learn, get really good at it, and then pick a new thing. Before you know it, you’ll be leading treks across Mongolia and hosting your own reality series.



    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: skills, preparedness, Survival, emergency preparedness, survival skills

  • Short term Food Storage

     NOTE TO INSPECTOR: The product labels are dummies made by the photographer.

    When I think of food storage, my mind usually flits back and forth between the MREs and energy bars I like to stash in an emergency kit, and the six-gallon buckets of rice and beans meant to sustain us through a lengthy disaster. But between those two extremes is a wide swath of potential food supply needs for both short and long-term storage. This post focuses on short term food storage.

    Enter the Three-Month Supply…

    Short term food storage is a great place to begin thinking about preparedness, for the very convincing reason that it’s easy to do. With a little planning, a three month supply can be constructed from freeze-dried and dehydrated foods, and supplemented with grocery store items with shorter shelf lives, like condiments, peanut butter, and vegetable oils.

    So, here it is—three month’s worth of food in three easy steps:

    Step 1: Plan a week’s worth of meals. This is probably the hardest part. Don’t get fancy. Think of things your family actually eats. What are the weekday standards? What can you throw together by heart? What do you stock up on regularly? If you’re still overwhelmed (sometimes one dinner on a Wednesday night is too much for me to come up with on the spot), think back over last week and write down what you remember eating.

    Step 2: Make a list of all the ingredients and quantities you’d need for those breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. Then open up your Emergency Essentials catalog or go online to and search for these ingredients from our large selection of freeze-dried and dehydrated foods.

    Don’t forget things like drinks, spices, condiments, and baby food.

    Step 3: Multiply that list by twelve. Voila! Your three-month supply shopping list, done. If you’re an ambitious go-getter, you could, at this point, purchase the whole supply in one monster shopping trip. Emergency Essentials even sells a pre-made 3-month supply of entrees, or you could purchase a year-supply combo to make your food storage shopping quick and easy. Or if you or your husband (hint, hint) haven’t put up those food storage garage shelves yet, you could work on it a little at a time, watching our monthly sales and getting one or two bulk items per shopping trip.

    Here are a few more things to consider as you plan for the short term.

    • Fruit and veggies pose the same problem. Canned or dried are always easy options. If you have a garden, some fresh produce lasts long enough—under the right storage conditions and when rotated regularly—to work as part of a three-month supply. Whole squash, for example, can sit in a dark, cool place for up to two months; unwashed carrots, onions, and potatoes can go un-refrigerated for up to five or six weeks; and a lemon can survive on the counter for a month. Fresh fruits and vegetables that are canned at home can last for 2-3 years.
    • But if your fresh produce supply runs out in an emergency, it’s always good to have backup freeze-dried or dehydrated fruits and veggies on hand. You can purchase individual cans of freeze-dried and dehydrated fruits and veggies or you can purchase them in a freeze-dried fruit and veggie combo.
    • When calculating quantities, always remember to look at calories, rather than just the number of servings (for a more thorough explanation of why “number of servings” can be deceiving, see the Insight Article “Food Storage: What Should I Buy and How Much? The Calorie Count Factor”). Plan on 2000-2600 calories per day per adult, and 1500-1600 per day per child.
    • Finally, make sure those calories come from a healthy range of sources. To see how nutritionally-balanced your food supply is (or is not), try our Food Storage Analyzer. It keeps track of what you’re storing, analyzes the nutritional value of what you’ve got, and makes recommendations.

    Any other tips and tricks? What’s in your three-month supply?

    Posted In: Uncategorized

  •  DIY Mummy Costume could be made using emergency supplies like First Aid gauze

    Since Halloween is coming up, we wanted to give you some helpful tips, tricks, and costume ideas that use emergency supplies to prepare you for All Hallows’ Eve!

    Baby Step One: Use Emergency Supplies for Safety, decoration, and warmth


    Emergency Supplies for Safety

    Lightsticks- This 12 hour light-source will light the way as you walk the streets this Halloween. Also, imagine the fun you could have with these on the dance floor at a Halloween party . . .

    LED Glow flashlight-Doubles as a traditional flashlight and glowstick. The flashlight’s handle glows and blinks red light (with the option to turn it off, of course).  A fun way to get into the holiday spirit and to see into dark passages for ghosts . . . or unfriendly people lurking about.

    LED Glowstick-a festive addition to any Halloween costume and perfect for locating your kids in a sea of Spiderman, pirate, or princess costumes. Create a necklace of glow sticks to hang around your child’s neck, arms, or wrists, or to pin to their costumes.

    Goal Zero Life-a-Light LED Lanterns guide trick-or-treaters or party guests to your home safely. Hang these solar powered lanterns across your front porch, balcony, windows, or doorways.

     emergency supplies like this flashlight can help keep you safe on Halloween

    Emergency Supplies as Decorations

    100 hour Candles create a perfect melancholy glow or mood lighting for a creepy Halloween party or scary movie marathon. Just pop the Red Globe Attachment onto your candles and instantly create a red spotlight. Then dress up like a vampire. Your party guests will be horrified when they see the red candles glowing . . . (I’d die on the spot if that ever happened to me . . .)

    Carve a scary pumpkin, and drop a green, red or blue glowstick inside to create a creepy glow from inside…

    Make a creepy Jack-O-Lantern with the most basic of emergency supplies: the humble glow stick

    Emergency Supplies for Warmth

    Hot hands or Hot Spot hand warmers- Keep yourself or your kids warm this Halloween. Stick these hand warmers in your pockets so they don’t get in the way of the festivities. The Hot Spot will keep you warm for up to 2 hours!

    Baby Step Two: Use Emergency Supplies for Halloween Costumes

    With a little creativity and ingenuity, you can make a pretty cool Halloween costume out of your emergency supplies. The best part is that you can still use your supplies again later. Store them in your emergency kit or with your emergency supplies when you’re done.  Here is a list of emergency supplies that could make whole outfits or accessories for your costume. Click on Orange costume names to see how to create the costume.

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: safety, baby steps, DIY

  • colorado flood trees

    In light of the recent flooding in Colorado and all the damage that has occurred as a result, we want to share a series of posts from one Colorado woman’s perspective. Opinions expressed are hers and do not necessarily reflect those of Emergency Essentials.

    If you lived through the recent flooding in Colorado and want to share your story, please email

    We asked Sandy to share how she prepared:


    I have been preparing for emergencies for a while now. I grew up back east in upstate New York and had learned from my parents to always be prepared for any emergency. Everyone thinks you need to spend a lot of money to prepare for an emergency. I have learned that is not true. I am a single lady and I recently had to deal with the floods in Colorado and my preparedness was put to the test. I also recently helped my son who was stranded in the Colorado floods realize he needed to start preparing as soon as possible. You never know when an emergency can happen.

    I have been preparing for a variety of emergencies. I just finished canning and dehydrating everything from my garden this summer. This is the first season I have ever used a dehydrator and had fun with it. I have a lot of freeze dried and dehydrated food from Emergency Essentials that should be enough for months if I am unable to get to a store. I am trying to get enough food stored up for at least one year. It came in handy this past week when everyone was packed in the grocery stores and I didn't have to leave my house. I have all the necessities to survive if I was stranded and had to stay at my home. I also have two dogs that I have to prepare for. I have extra food and treats for them sealed in the Emergency Essentials buckets. Also, have a bug out bag for the dogs that you can grab in a hurry if you  need it.

    I must admit my favorite items are my two bug out bags. I have one in my car that is stocked full of everything I need if I get stuck at work or stranded away from home. . One thing that’s important to have in a [car emergency kit] is packaged water. I learned by storing water in my car that due to the heat of the summer, jugs of water do eventually leak because of the heat of your car. (Editor’s note: A great way to store water in your car without leakage is to use small portable water containers like the Aqua Blox, Aqua Literz, or Datrex Pouches. These water pouches are not affected by heat, but can freeze in the winter, causing the packaging to expand, but not burst. The only way they will leak is if there is a hole in the pouch or box.)

    If I am at home and have to leave in an emergency, I have a larger bag that is stocked with enough supplies and food to last close to two weeks. I'm prepared to survive outside if necessary for a while, also. If you have to survive outdoors, don’t forget to pack an extra set of clothes and shoes. Lastly, a great way to collect emergency supplies is to check out sales and what you have around the house for most of the stuff you need to survive.

    Check out the Rest of the Series:

    Why I Prepare: Lessons from the Colorado Flood Part 1


    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: preparedness, emergency preparedness

  • October Sale Items

    October’s sale items are a harvest of great bargains. And if you’re the organized, plan-ahead type of holiday shopper, that most of us only aspire to be, you might want to look through these sales with gift-giving in mind. We offer everything from substantial gifts to stocking-stuffers!


    Campers and backyard cooking enthusiasts would enjoy the SOS Sport Solar Oven Combo, on sale this month for only $189.99. With time and sunlight, you can cook pretty much anything from roast to rolls. It even works in cold weather! The kit includes two covered cooking pots, thermometer, manual, recipe booklet,  and solar reflector—everything you need, except the food!

     Solar oven

    Water storage is vital, and our sale on the 55-Gallon Water Barrel Combo is a great place to start. It includes the emergency siphon and “Barrel Buddies II” tool, which you will definitely need. These tools will help you to get the water out of your barrel and into smaller containers for the various emergency situations you may encounter or just to store in other areas of the house. These tools are great because you can get your water out without breaking any of the parts on your barrel or having to wait 30 minutes to fill up your water bottle. All for $81.99 (a $124.85 value). If you already have the tools and just need an extra barrel, the sale price is $72.99 (you’ll save $26.96).

    Siphon water from larger containers into portable containers

    Cooks who dive into a holiday baking frenzy would appreciate the 12-Can Baking Combo for only $109.99 (a $161.69 value). The combo includes 2 cans of whole wheat flour, 2 of white flour, and one can each of brown sugar, white sugar, salt, baking powder, shortening powder, margarine powder, instant milk, and powdered eggs. Enjoy fresh basked cookies, breads, and cakes this holiday season with our 12-Can Baking combo.

     12-can baking combo

    Our MRE One-Week Food Supply provides 21 meals, or 7 days’ worth of 3 ready-to-eat meals day for only $84.99, a value of $134.65. Includes main entrées, side dishes, desserts, drink mixes, bread or crackers, peanut butter, jam, cheese, and hard candies. MREs have an excellent shelf life--they last up to 7 years if stored in the proper conditions (un-opened in a dark, cool area with no moisture soaking into it). This one-week supply is an excellent holiday gift investment for those who want a quick meal in an emergency, camping, or backpacking trip.

     MRE One-Week Food Supply

    Interested in learning to cook with wheat? Try our Wheat Cooking Starter Kit, including an easy-to-use Hand Grain Mill, Dough Enhancer, a 1-lb. package of yeast, and the “Wheat Cookin’ Made Easy” DVD.  A great gift for yourself or any aspiring cook. Sale price $58.99, a saving of 21%.

    Wheat Cooking Starter Kit


    Look through our entire catalog for dozens of great sales items! Watch for red print or red SALE medallions.







    Posted In: Uncategorized

  • October Group Specials

    Have your friends and neighbors been pestering you about the October Group Specials? If not, then get on the stick and tell them about our amazing Group program and how you can all get discounted products and free shipping, just by ordering together.

    If they have been pestering you, I’ve got the news you’ve all been waiting for. The October Group Specials are here, and they’re delicious!

    18 oz. cans of Provident Pantry Freeze-Dried Green Peas, normally $18.50, are only $12.00 when you order 12 or more. Not only is that a whole lotta goodness for side dishes, stews, and casseroles, but peas are a fantastically compact source of protein, fiber, and iron.

    Freeze-Dried Green Peas

    Who doesn’t love granola? This month, get any combination of Dehydrated Granola with Milk and Blueberries LRP and Dehydrated Granola with Milk and Bananas LRP for only $1.25 a pack when you order 30 or more (better than 50% off!). That’s cheaper, lighter, and way longer lasting than that fast food egg muffin thing you had for breakfast this morning.

    dehydrated granola with blueberries

    Remember the 10 Piece MRE Side Dish Combo deal that you thought you missed out on last month? Well, it’s your lucky day. Till the October deadline, you can still get $6 off each pack when your group orders 10 or more packs. These sides are an easy way to bulk up a meal or work as a stand-alone breakfast or snack.

     10 piece MRE Side Dish Combo

    “Okay,” you say. “But what if I open one of these yummy meals and don’t use it all?” A-ha! Just for that eventuality, we’ve got the 10 Pack Small Metalized Zip Top Bag with Gusseted Bottom on sale for $5.00 (regularly $8.50). Protect leftovers or the contents of an opened food storage can from heat and moisture with these re-sealable gallon bags—or use them to stash delicate non-food items.

     10 pack Small Metalized Zip top bag

    Happy October, from our Group to yours!

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: monthly sales, group program, group specials, sale

  • In light of the recent Colorado floods and all the damage that has occurred as a result, we want to share a series of posts from one Colorado woman’s perspective. Opinions expressed are hers and do not necessarily reflect those of Emergency Essentials.

    If you lived through the recent Colorado floods and want to share your story, please email

    Parts of Colorado are still a disaster right now, and they will be for a long time—especially Boulder and most towns north of Denver. Because of the amount of severe damage to the land and the houses, many people are going without normal necessities like electricity, clean water, or—in some cases—even a home. We still have to boil our water until further notice and we don't have a working hot water heater yet.

    Image from the 2013 Colorado Floods


    So many people don't realize what a great need there is to prepare for any kind of an emergency. This could happen to anyone at any time. I am lucky enough to have been preparing for any emergency for quite a while and just finished preserving everything from my garden before the flooding.

    I can also share with you how disappointed I was with my son during the flood. He wasn't prepared for an emergency. On day 1 of the flooding when he realized he was stranded and couldn't leave his town, he also realized he needed food. He said the store shelves were already bare when he finally got there. We couldn't get to each other so he was on his own.

    Had he been prepared with emergency supplies and emergency food, he would have been able to spend more time at his home during the floods instead of wasting precious time out looking for food.

    That’s why I prepare.

    --Sandy, CO


    Thanks, Sandy! These Colorado floods are a harsh reminder of why it's important to prepare—and how unexpectedly a disaster can occur. Our prayers and well-wishes continue to go out to all those affected.

    Check out the Rest of the Series:

    Why I Prepare: Lessons from the Colorado Floods, Part 2

    Posted In: Uncategorized

  • Baby Step 1: Plan a Food Storage Menu

    Not sure what foods to buy and store for your food storage supply? Here’s a helpful hint: if you don’t know what to store, try making a weekly or monthly food storage menu that includes your favorite family meals.

    According to Leslie Probert, author of Food Storage in a Nutshell, if you plan a month’s worth of meals and then multiply it by 12, you’ll know exactly what you’ll need to buy to sustain your family for a year on food storage. So here are 4 baby steps on how to get started on your food storage menu.

    Make a list of your favorite meals: Look at the recipes and ingredients for each of these meals and pull out your Emergency Essentials catalog or go online to Search for the ingredients to make each of these meals out of our large selection of freeze-dried and dehydrated foods. Write these meals down on a calendar to keep track of them. You can use our Food Storage Menu Planner to keep track of your shopping list, monthly meal calendars, and food storage inventory. Just click on the picture below and start planning!

     Food Storage Menu Planner



    Create a short-term storage supply: Since not all food items can be preserved long-term, you may have to think about ways to change the recipes so that you can use food storage products. You may also want to think about creating a [short-term food storage] supply that includes items like vegetable oil, brown rice, and peanut butter. You can rotate these items regularly so that you can have them on hand if you’re in an emergency situation.

    Purchase your supplies:  You can gradually add supplies to your food storage, or you can get it all at once (year supply combos work well for this option). It’s up to you—do what works best for your situation. But keep in mind that it’s recommended to start with the basics—grains, legumes, dry milk, sugar, salt, oil, and garden seeds so that you can have the basic supplies to make a number of meals.

    Start Cooking:  Once you’ve purchased your supplies, start cooking with them to test out meals. This will not only show you what needs to be adjusted to make the recipes work, but it will also help your family to become familiar with eating freeze-dried and dehydrated foods before an emergency hits.



    Baby Step 2: Try a New Food Storage Recipe or Technique

    To go along with our food storage theme, consider learning how to cook with a food storage item that you are unfamiliar with or uncomfortable cooking. One item that may seem difficult to cook is wheat. Here are some resources to get you started if you want to learn how to cook with wheat:

    Wheat Cookin’ Made Easy (DVD)

    The Amazing Wheat Book

    The Working with Wheat Combo

    The Easiest Way to Use Wheat

    Also, Food Storage in a Nutshell provides a very good list of the best ways to cook with freeze-dried and dehydrated foods so that you can preserve the nutrients in your food storage meals.

    Stay tuned for our Baby Steps: Halloween Safety and DIY Costumes coming up later this week!


    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: food storage, baby steps, menu

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