Search results for: 'water storage'

  • Water Filter Essentials

    Being able to create good, clean water wherever you are will not only wet your whistle, but also save your life.

    Filtered Water

    Water storage is very important in being prepared for the unexpected, but what if you’re far away from your water storage? Perhaps you’re out hiking. Well let me tell you, toting around a 30 gallon water barrel just isn’t going to work if that’s the case. Or maybe your living arrangements don’t allow for extensive water storage. There are many scenarios in which you might need something more. Fortunately, there are plenty of handy, portable water filters on the market that you can invest in.

    With so many water filters out there, how are you supposed to know which one is best for you? Fear not, faithful readers! I have just completed my official emergency preparedness expert Katadyn Water Filter Training, and now I’m here to pass along all my hard-earned secrets. Ready? Here we go!

    Old man and the Sea in a SkiffFirst of all, let’s talk about the why. We can find water almost anywhere. Unfortunately, very little of this water is drinkable. As the Ancient Mariner once said, bemoaning his fate as he was stuck out at sea,

    Water, water, everywhere,

    nor any drop to drink.

    That’s exactly how it can be. So much water, but most of it so very undrinkable. What makes water unsuitable for human consumption? Well, let’s just say there are plenty of nasties in the water, and it would be best for us if we didn’t invite them into our bodies. There are three main kinds of water hazards we should avoid:

    • Protozoan cysts (0.5 microns)
    • Bacteria (2-15 microns)
    • Viruses (0.018 microns)

    These bad boys can make a person sick. Fortunately, the Katadyn filters are designed to keep them out of your water. All of the filters will work great against the protozoan cysts and bacteria, since those little guys are big enough to be stopped by the filters. Viruses, however, are a wee bit too small for filters to be effective.

    Normally you won’t have to worry about viruses, as those only show up near where human activity takes place. For example, a stream, creek, or lake or something off the beaten path where people don’t generally venture forth, will be quite free of viruses. Rivers and lakes near civilization could be a problem, however. Also flood water. Don’t drink flood water.

    Lake with blue skies No people? No problem (for filters, at least)!

    Viruses can be eliminated with a tablet (the Katadyn guy prefers the Micropur purification tablets). Just drop a tablet in the water and let it go to work. It’s one tablet per liter of water. If the water is clear, you only have to wait 30 minutes before the water is good to go. If it’s dirty water, however, your wait could be up to 4 hours. But again, in the wild or away from humans, you won’t need tablets. The filters will be just fine.

    Now, I’d like to take a moment and talk about two of the filters that were demonstrated. One is a simple, reliable and totally portable personal filter. The other is great for filtering larger volumes of water for a camp, or a family in an emergency.

    Hiker ProThe #1 selling filter on the market is the Hiker Pro. There aren’t many moving parts, so it’s reliability rating is very high. It’s super light (11 oz.), so hiking with it is a breeze! It has a carbon core which also helps to improve the taste of the water. Another nifty bit with this filter is the quick release valve and bottle adapter. With this, you can quickly disconnect your hose from the filter and connect it to your bottle. It’s an easy transition, and a great way to quickly fill your water bottle. Speaking of speed, it pumps about a liter a minute. Not bad, if you’re far from a sink or faucet.

    The second filter is the Base Camp Pro, and it is ridiculously cool. For one thing, it’s crazy fast (as in 2 liters a minute), and uses Base Campgravity to do all the work. Just hang it up in a tree (or have your kid hold it and call it a workout) with its extra-large strap and watch the water flow! It holds 10 liters of water, and is guaranteed not to clog with debris and other contaminants. The coolest thing about this (for me, anyway) is that you can turn the Base Camp into a shower with the handy dandy shower adapter. Say goodbye to nasty, showerless camping trips!

    I won’t talk about every filter we saw, since we already have a great article identifying all the filters and purifiers we carry. Instead, I’ll politely send you to check that out by clicking here.

    If you’re looking for a filter for hiking, home, or just-in-case, Katadyn has some great options for all situations, so you won’t have to worry about getting caught (ahem) in the rain.

    What’s your favorite filter? What do you look for in a filter? Let us (and your fellow preppers) know in the comments!

    Posted In: Insight, Uncategorized, Water Storage Tagged With: purification, water filter

  • Why Emergency Food Storage?

    When winter hits, some animals have to scrounge and forage for food. Squirrels don’t. They store-up, so when food becomes scarce, they have an ample supply on hand. And they aren’t the only creatures that prepare for hard times. Wildcats, moles, and foxes (to name a few) are also ready for cold, cruel winter. It’s part of their nature. They know tough times are coming and they make sure to plan ahead.

    Be more squirrely. Get to work building your own emergency food supply.

    So why don’t we, as humans, stockpile food? I mean, most of us are a lot smarter than squirrels. Perhaps we just can’t believe that trying times are on their way? Maybe, since we might not live in Tornado Alley, or along the San Andreas Fault, or on the Southern Atlantic Coast, we can’t comprehend why we would ever be left without a way to get food. At the same time, common sense tells us hardships, set-backs, job losses, illnesses, accidents as well as natural disasters eventually strike us all – often with little or no warning.

    So, why don’t we prepare?

    I think it’s time we get squirrely (or foxy or moley…). I’m talking about food storage here. Like money in the bank, or a food insurance policy, building emergency food storage is a just plain smart...at least as smart as a squirrel.

    Now, I’m not talking about putting up the “I’m-only-eating-this-is-because-there’s-nothing-else-to-eat” kind of food. Oh no. More than just bulk wheat and oats, I’m talking about fun, fast, easy, and delicious long-term food storage that give you lots of choices when it comes to “what’s for dinner?” in an emergency.

    So what are your options? There are tons of choices when it comes to emergency food supplies and long-term storage. Let me show you what I mean.

     

    Meats, Fruits, Vegetables, Dairy, Grains & Legumes, Whole Meals, and Desserts

    This ain’t your grandma’s closet full of bulk food supplies. Today, there are all kinds of food options to choose from. All major food groups (and a few minor ones, like dessert) are packaged for decades of storage. Not only do they maintain their nutritional value, they will taste as great in 25 years as they would next week. Let’s talk for a moment about the benefits each food group offers, shall we?

    Meat: Meat is a great way to get your protein. Today’s freeze-dried meats will rehydrate to virtually the same freshly cooked state it was before it was canned. Eat it as a main course with a favorite sauce, or add it to your favorite salads, stir-fries, tacos, and casseroles. I’ve been known to pop chicken chunks or turkey sausage right into my mouth, right out of the can. It’s a kinda fun and funky sorta experience as that dried meat rehydrates in your mouth. It’s also way delicious. These meats are prepared and packaged to last up to 25 years (try keeping any other meat that long! Actually, on second thought, don’t try that. Just…don’t).

    Fruits: There’s not a fruit I know of that hasn’t made it’s way through a freeze-dryer and into a can, and each one as delicious as the next. Just as meat is a great source of protein, fruit is a fantastic way to get your vitamins. Freeze-dried and dehydrated fruits are also great in salads, desserts, or even (brace yourself) straight from the can! Let me tell you, pop some freeze-dried mandarin sections into your mouth and, well, it’s like candy! Really good candy that is 100% good for you. My friend’s mom likes to pop freeze-dried grapes into her mouth, then quickly follow them with a bite of a freeze-dried lime slice. “It’s a Lime Ricky party in your mouth,” she says. Seriously though, I have it on good authority that this stuff is all they eat in heaven. I’m sure of it. Every time I see a can of Freeze-dried fruit, I try to find a way to make it mine…or at least pilfer some of its contents.

    Vegetables: Low in fat and high in nutrients, easy to store and prepare, vegetables are a brilliant food to store. They’re also super quick to rehydrate, which makes them a great addition to your recipes, snacks, and sides. Like their fruity counterparts, freeze-dried vegetables have rich flavor, making them another great snack straight from the can.

    Dairy: Dairy includes all those products derived from milk, of course, though I also include eggs because when I was a kid the milkman also delivered eggs with the milk (although, I don’t include bacon or popsicles in dairy, which he also delivered. Oh well...where was I?) Dairy! In addition to powdered milk (in all its flavors), it’s easy to store cheese (which actually melts like fresh), sour cream, butter, and (you guessed it) eggs (whole and scrambled). Dairy products provide protein, calcium, potassium, and vitamin D. Few foods are as versatile as dairy products—perfect for pouring over cereal, baking and cooking, or even just drinking by itself—or as an essential for keeping your body healthy and strong.

    Grains and Legumes: While grandma would store 500 pounds of wheat in the cellar and call it good, today’s common culinary tastes and skills could do no more with a cup of wheat as a sack of rocks. While in able hands, raw dried grains and legumes stored in bulk are a potent and useful source of carbohydrates, fiber, protein, and iron, these nutrients are now found in several other easy-to-store and quick-to-prepare varieties. Peanut butter powder, pasta, freeze-dried frijoles, and Emergency Essentials’ famous Mac & Cheese are a sampling of the dozens of prepared grains and legumes that make any meal complete.

    Full MealWhole Meals: Sometimes…you just don’t want to cook, and that’s OK. Especially now, since you can get pre-cooked, complete meals that are freeze-dried and last up to 25 years. Many of these types of meals are fully prepared before they are freeze-dried, so you’re getting an actual meal – with real texture – that tastes great. Just add boiling water, let sit for a bit, then eat. It’s a quick, easy, and delicious way to feed your entire family. Gone are the days of stocking up with only wheat, bottled sauces, and canned meat to make a meal. Now are the days of fantastic home-cooked meals that only take a few minutes! If you were ever hesitant about storing food before, this should allay all fear. Full freeze-dried meals really are as quick and delicious as I’m letting on.

    Desserts: Alright, let’s be honest. This is the one you really wanted to know about, am I right? These desserts are so easy to make. From cake and brownie mixes to puddings and ice cream (yes, ice cream!), these just-add-water desserts are absolutely delectable. Personally, I love dessert (chocolate cake….Mmmmm….), and so when I can’t run to the store to get the required ingredients, I’m definitely going to want a mix or two (or three) on hand for when the cravings hit. That is, if I am out of my all-time favorite…Freeze-dried Ice Cream Sandwiches. Seriously…if they sold these at 7-11 I would never get out of the parking lot.

    As you can see, there are a lot of different options regarding food. If you want something, chances are you’ll be able to find it. Having an emergency food storage doesn’t mean storing food you’ll never use. On the contrary, your emergency food storage will be something you’ll actually enjoy eating. There’s no use suffering when your life is already hard, but you still need to do your part and get the food before the dire need arises.

     


    Cans, Buckets, Pouches, Superpails

    Lastly, let’s discuss briefly the various ways in which you can store your food.

    StrawberriesCans: Cans are a great option for storing food. You can get basically anything in a can, from grains to legumes and from meats to fruits and vegetables. They come in large #10 cans, as well as smaller, two serving cans. They’re easy to store, especially if you don’t have a lot of room for large pails and buckets.

    Pouches: Pouches are packaged for individual meals. They can fit nicely into a bug-out bag or in the trunk with your car emergency kit. They are also very popular among outdoor enthusiasts. The two serving pouches will serve one hungry hiker with a hot, delicious home-style meals while hunting or camping. And don’t worry about leftovers… you’ll never have any with these.

    Buckets: Buckets are the home to lots of pouches. Inside each bucket are an assortment of different meal pouches, or a large quantity of your favorite ones. Buckets are easy to store, as they stack well on each other. This lets you maximize your floor space in your storage area.

    Superpails 02Superpails: Superpails are large, 6 gallon pails (not to be confused with buckets). Superpails come lined with metallized bags, which help block out the light, keeping the food fresh longer. Superpails hold about the equivalent of eight #10 cans, and are great for buying in bulk. Just like the buckets, the Superpails are built for stacking, leaving you with optimized storage space.

    So there you have it. Lots of different options for starting your food storage. So go ahead…start squirrelling away an emergency food supply. Take it slowly, month by month, or go all out and get a large load all at once. Either way, let’s get smart and follow the example of our bushy-tailed prepper friend, and be ready when tough times come.

    Squirrel Hoard

    What’s your preferred method of storing food? Do you prefer bulk grains and food, or individual or pouches? Let us know!

    Posted In: Emergency Cooking, Food Storage, Insight Tagged With: what to get, food storage

  • A Tale of Two Winters

    It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…

    Boston's Snowiest Winter (WBZ-TV Retrieved from cbs Boston) Attribution: WBZ-TV

    That’s how this winter has felt for most of the country. High amounts of nothing in the West can make for happy commuters, and yet equally unhappy farmers and anyone else who enjoys drinking water. The East coast received a pounding in snow storms, and Boston has even broken its own record (congratulations!) for snowiest winter, accumulating 108.6 inches of snow as of Sunday evening. That’s over 9 feet of snow! Now, as spring starts to set in, each side of the country is experiencing the aftermath of their individualized winter.

    Each side looks longingly at the other, wishing for what the other has. If only they could arrange a switcheroo, with the West taking some much needed moisture from the overly-watered East, and the East taking some dry weather from the parched West. But alas. To borrow from Rudyard Kipling, "East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet."

    Winter has definitely been a different story for each side of the country, and each story has its own villain and plot twists. The western drought is worse than ever as water levels are historically low, while in the East, spring flooding has become a huge problem with the Ohio River overstepping its banks, flooding areas in Cincinnati, as well as Kentucky and Indiana.

    As the drought drags on, water shortages will become more and more common. The clouds refuse to give a much-needed respite. Water tables are dropping, and farmers are in a pickle. And so are the rest of us…eventually. Food crops need water to grow, and so as the clouds remain petulant and refuse us their moisture, what will happen to food supplies? What will happen to the cost of groceries? Food tends to run short during food shortages (funny how that works). And of course, that’s when prices tend to rise.

    boston-snow (WBZ TV) Attribution: WBZ-TV

    On the other side of the country, melting snow and spring rain is causing floods, water washing over roads and flooding business. Ironically, one must ask, how does flooding affect your water supply? Impure flood waters can contaminate municipal supplies. Also, how do flood waters affect food supplies? The entire supply chain, from the farm to the highway, to the grocery store is interrupted. Assuming food finds its way to the store, and you are even able to there, you’ll likely find prices much higher when you arrive.

    It’s times like these when we can only hope we are prepared.

    I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, the best time to prepare for today is yesterday. Or last week or last month. Basically, if we are constantly preparing for natural nuisances such as these, we won’t be in over our head when the floods rise or the droughts linger.

    Woman Looking In Empty Food CupboardsThese next few days could prove quite uncomfortable for those left with what’s in their cupboards. If you’re like many Americans and like to wait until the cupboards are completely bare before you do your shopping (after all, why go shopping if there’s no room to put the goods?), you could end up re-living your college days by only eating ramen noodles and Easy Mac. That’s one reason (among many) why it’s important to have food and water storage on hand. At a minimum, make sure you have at least 3-days’ worth of food and water stored.

    Instead of fording rivers to see what the stores have to offer, having your own food storage can really keep you afloat during these times. Starting a food storage may sound daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. You can start with a can here, a can there, and gradually build it up over time. Or, you could just dive in head first and take advantage of our year-supply offers by either getting it all in one go. We also has Prep As You Go plans, allowing you to gradually build up your storage over the course of a year, making it a much more affordable option.

    Droughts and floods may seem like polar opposites, but they can leave the same problems in their wake. Not being able to find food when you need it can be very scary. As we like to say around here, the best time to get prepared is yesterday. The second best time is now.

    How have you prepared for flooding? Droughts? What is the most important thing for you to do to get ready? Let us know in the comments!

    Posted In: Disaster Scenarios, Food Storage Tagged With: Boston, drought, flood, Winter

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