• Emergency Essentials and Mountain House: Partners In Preparedness

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    Emergency Essentials:
    Proud to Bring Mountain House to You

    Did you know that Mountain House is the number one, premier brand of freeze-dried meals on the market? And did you also know that through the whole month of March we’re offering all Mountain House freeze-dried meals for 25-50% off? And did you further know that we guarantee the lowest prices on Mountain House in the country?

    I know I just blew your mind, but stick with me. I had the chance to speak with our President, Matt Nettesheim, about the Emergency Essentials-Mountain House relationship and why he feels so strongly about providing this kind of quality product to our customers. He gave me about a gazillion more reasons to love this brand.

    soldier Mountain House has been feeding our soldiers for almost 50 years.

    So, what’s so great about Mountain House?

    “They’ve been doing this for a long time,” Matt says. Since the Vietnam War, to be precise (check out the company’s fascinating origin story here), and that history shows. As Matt explains, Mountain House’s work with the US military has resulted in freeze-dried, shelf-stable food that meets extraordinarily rigorous quality specifications. Not only that, but Mountain House continues to conduct scientific testing on factors like shelf life—so when the company claims their #10 can will last 25 years, it’s legit.

    All those things are important, in a label-reading kind of way. But what’s the real distinction?

    One word: taste.

    “They have taken just-add-water meals to a new level,” explains Matt. “A lot of places might take a freeze-dried meat, add a dehydrated sauce blend and some dehydrated noodles. All the ingredients are there, but they were never together until they were put into the can.” By contrast, the savory portions of most of Mountain House’s meals are completely prepared, ingredients fully mixed and flavors blended, prior to freeze-drying. Then, just as you pour sauce over noodles or rice at home, the freeze-dried meats and sauces are poured over instant noodles or rice and sealed in pouches and cans. “That process has set Mountain House apart for being able to provide fast and easy meals that are also as good as homemade,” says Matt. “Millions love ‘em."

    But I’ve already got basic ingredients in my food storage. Why do I need Mountain House?

    I may have a varied and impressive array of ingredients in my food storage. But the harsh truth is that in the immediate aftermath of an emergency, while my children are frightened and the future is uncertain, the last thing I’m going to want to do is cook.

    As Matt points out, needs and priorities vary. Everything from personal taste to culinary skill to financial constraints come into play when we consider an emergency food storage. “Gathering the basic pieces—wheat, beans, fruits, vegetables, those kinds of things—is probably the most economical way of doing things, but it also requires the most time and effort from the consumer.”

    openPouch All you need is hot water and a fork.

    The trade-off that Matt refers to here becomes powerful when we compare the equipment required to make use of traditional food storage ingredients (pots and pans, portable stove, oven, utensils, wheat grinders, etc.) versus Mountain House’s freeze-dried meals (hot water, fork). I’m especially enamored of the Mountain House pouches that act as their own serving dish. Truly, when ease, convenience, and speed of the essence, there’s no better option.

    Okay, I’m convinced. But how do I rotate these babies? Are they good for anything other than disaster relief?

    When I asked Matt if Mountain House meals worked well for eating at home, he said , "We’d have Mountain House at home all the time…if I was in charge of dinner.”

    Mountain House is a huge favorite for outdoor meals. Mountain House is a huge favorite for outdoor meals.

    Matt’s wife may be a gourmet, but as for me? This harried working mom thinks he may be onto something. Late meeting? Overlapping activities? Pinterest recipe fail? I can think of a million reasons I’d appreciate a quick weeknight meal that doesn’t come wrapped in paper with a cheap toy.

    A little more seriously (okay, I really was serious about that Pinterest thing), Mountain House is the preferred meal for camping, hiking, and other outdoor adventures. Lightweight and with minimum gear requirements, the pouches are ideal for backpacking and car camping alike. In fact, Matt tells a great story of bringing Mountain House meals on a large group canoe trip: while everyone packed their own meals, by the end of the trip, the others were throwing their pre-packaged food away and begging for Matt’s leftovers. A dozen hungry Boy Scouts can’t be wrong!

    Matt’s picks?

    “Beef Stroganoff and Noodles and Chicken—those are probably my two favorites,” Matt gushes just a little. And the Breakfast Skillet, which he eats in MRE tortillas like a breakfast burrito. “Oh, and the Granolas and Blueberries! Oh, and…!”

    There you have it. Matt’s personal endorsement, the highest endorsement we can give. And if you don’t want to take Matt’s word for it (though he really is a nice guy), there’s no better time to try Mountain House for yourself. Cans, pouches, kits, and collections are on sale all month—hop on over and find your favorites!

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: taste, preparedness, mountain house

  • The Best Winter Ever!

    If you have friends in the Northeast, your Facebook and Instagram feeds have probably been saturated with images of snow piled disturbingly high on sidewalks and in yards, or buried cars and blocked doorways. And yet, somehow, these images are not complaints. This may be the one of the snowiest winters on record, but New Englanders are no strangers to harsh weather. And while some of us get twitchy just reading about school closures, our friends under several feet of snow seem to be having a pretty good time of it.

    If you’re one of those soft Westerners who cancels park days when it’s cloudy, take a page out of New England’s handbook, and consider the…

    Top 10 Reasons 2015 is the Best Winter Ever

    1. busesSnow days. You’re eleven years old, and you have a book report due tomorrow that you haven’t started. What could possibly give you more joy than to watch heavy, fluffy flakes falling outside your window? While the rest of the country suffers through math quizzes and cafeteria lunches, untethered children all over the Northeast are sledding through a winter wonderland. (Public service message: don’t forget the hand and foot warmers!)
    2. Snow angels are cute. Snowmen are fun. Snow forts are awesome. But full-scale snow castles are epic.
    3. Community spirit. Boston’s mayor Martin Walsh recently noted, “The residents of the city are very special. Just watching everyone help each other, that’s what I love seeing about the snow.” Mayor Walsh was referring Boston, but he could have been talking about any of the dozens of cities covered in snow right now—especially Crewe, Virginia, where Tommy Adam’s good deed got him noticed nationwide.
    4. Glen in Tennessee finally gets to use his generator. A post on Instapundit.com points out that “preparedness pays.” Two days after Valentine’s Day, Glen Reynolds reported that the “power’s out, but the generator kicked in and we have heat, lights, Internet and TV. Here’s to hoping that it comes back on soon, so that other folks aren’t stuck in the dark, but right now Helen, who was slightly dubious, is very pleased.” See, Helen? Haven’t we been saying this for years?
    5. shovelSnowExercise. I mean, real exercise. Like, three straight weeks of full-body cardio.
    6. Florida never looked better. In fact, the good sports over at the Ithaca, NY, tourism board agree. Rather than trying to entice people to head north with promises of igloo rentals and Yeti sightings (like some people in Boston are actually doing!), Ithaca’s tourism website officially—and hilariously—“invites you to visit the Florida keys this week. Please come back when things thaw out.”
    7. Food storage rotation. What better time to eat your way through all that 2014 canned food than several weeks without a clear route to the grocery store?
    8. Slow the pace. Isn’t it kind of nice sometimes to have a break in the routine? Or, at least, to have an excuse to slough off all the errands you keep meaning to do and just sit next to the heater vent and drink hot chocolate all afternoon? A friend of mine from Maine has finished approximately seven full-sized quilts since the snow began to fall. (She’s also predicting a New England baby boom round about September of this year.)fabricPatterns
    9. creaturesRare creatures are stirring. And no, I’m not talking about MIT students whose labs are closed. An anonymous Twitter user has adopted the moniker, “the Boston Yeti” and is posting mysterious photos of him-/her-/itself all over the region. (Another public service message: If you’re going to don a one-piece costume and traipse around town in a blizzard, I’m really serious about those hand and foot warmers!)
    10. And finally, pandas. No kidding, if you haven’t watched the National Zoo’s Bao Bao frolic in the flakes, you haven’t really experienced this winter.

    So, how’s your winter going? What are you loving about the weather in your area? It goes without saying (but I’ll say it again anyway…), if you’re sufficiently prepared, you can enjoy any kind of weather. So, what kinds of preparations are you making so that you can enjoy the extremes in your local weather including the odd whiteout?

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: Winter, food storage

  • Mother Nature: A Study in Unpredictability

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    hen it comes to rowdy weather, we seem to have it all figured out by region: earthquakes in California, tornadoes in Kansas, hurricanes in Florida, and whiteouts in Maine, right? How, then, do we account for recent phenomena like snow in SoCal, a first-time-ever hurricane off the coast of Brazil, and Oklahoma's new distinction as the US's most earthquake prone state? As we prepare for the unexpected, why is it so hard to know what to expect?

    The answer is that Mother Nature refuses to be figured out. She regularly breaks patterns, records, and electrical grids; and her only truly reliable feature is her unpredictability. (Now that I think about it, in some ways she's a lot like my two year-old. Only with a little less applesauce in her hair.)

    While meteorologists and seismologists puzzle over the whys and wherefores, for the rest of us, the biggest question regarding the prospect of a natural disaster is something more along the lines of, "How do I not die?"

    Good question. For our money, the best way to stay on our toes when Mother Nature is feeling capricious is to prepare for a range of circumstances. Have a fire escape plan and a tsunami evacuation route; know how to secure windows for a hurricane and protect pipes against a freeze; teach kids where to hunker down in an earthquake and where to run to in a tornado.

    map We all know where “Tornado Alley” is. Or do we? This map shows that tornados occur just about anywhere they choose.

    Most natural disasters have a specific set of recommended safe practices (check out Ready.gov's disaster specific tips sheets), and we don't want to confuse advice like `stay low in a fire,' and 'stay high in a flood.' Other preparations, however, are not only common to any disaster, but also vital. Here are three that could save your family, no matter what Mother Nature throws your way.

    We all know where "Tornado Alley" is. Or do we? This map shows that tornados occur just about anywhere they choose.

    Store food. Have we mentioned this before? Once or twice? Whether you're an advanced practitioner, with an extensive and neatly catalogued food storage, or a student with a couple of cans of chili under your bed, you need to consider how to access your stash in a hurry. Most organizations recommend keeping 72 hours worth of food handy. You could pull from your storage and make sure you have enough for each family member for three days in some kind of easily accessible pack. Or you could look into pre-packaged kits, like our Premium 4-Person 72-Hour Food Bucket.

    prep101 Learn about the 12 Areas of Preparation. Click on this image to download your own online booklet— Prep 1010: An Introduction to Getting Prepared.
    Store water. Again, the recommendation is water for three days (though longer term storage is a smart idea!). Figuring one gallon per person per day—and more for pets, children, or the elderly—that adds up quickly. There are loads of water storage options on the market, for long and short term, as well as filters and purifiers in case of contamination. Check here to see our range of water storage barrels, packaged water, and water treatment mechanisms.


    Store supplies. You may be MacGyver when it comes to household fix-it jobs, but a collapsed roof or flooded living room are going to require more than duct tape and paper clips. Be sure you have a well-stocked emergency supply kit stashed somewhere you can find it readily. FEMA has a useful emergency supply list, for general purposes. For more focused preparation, browse of collection of emergency kits, including everything from auto emergency kits, to power outage kits, to classroom school emergency kits.


    So, while this February the Rocky Mountains are enjoying 60° afternoons and Tennessee schools are closed due to icy roads, don’t be outsmarted by that shifty Mother Nature character. The facts are, tornados do strike in Salt Lake City, and Oklahomans will likely feel at least three tremors today. Who knows what’s in store for the rest of the country? Prepare for nature’s curveballs by keeping the basics on hand!

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: unpredictability, mother nature

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