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  • 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

  • Emergency Essentials and Mountain House: Partners In Preparedness

    |1 COMMENT(S)

    mhPouches

    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!
    riceBowl

    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

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