Letter Re: Grab-and-Go Soup Mix for Bug-Out Bags

Hello Jim,
First let me say how much I appreciate your site and how much I’ve learned from it. I visit it usually a couple times a day as I’m trying to fill in gaps in my preparedness plan. I thought I’d share a few tips.

Over the past couple years, I’ve bought about a dozen Nesco American Harvester food dehydrators and have set up an assembly line to dehydrate several cases of fruits, vegetables and meats every week. In the off-season when fresh produce is relatively expensive, I switch gears and buy cases of canned vegetables and proceed to dehydrate the contents, then put the dehydrated product in Mason jars with oxygen absorbers. As one example of the space efficiency of this, eight 29-oz. cans of diced tomatoes fit into a one-quart mason jar after dehydration–a great way to go if you don’t have much storage space. (I save the vegetable juices in ice cube trays and use the juices in broths later, so nothing is wasted.)

I’ve got a couple hundred quart-size mason jars of various vegetables, plus several hundred pounds of rice and varieties of beans that I toss together as a soup mix and put about 20 lbs. worth in a 2-gallon-sized Mylar food storage bag and keep it in my bug-out bag so that if I have to hit the road on short notice (flash-flooding in my region this summer was one such instance), I have food to last me for quite a while–compact and nutritionally complete. I hope this idea might benefit some of your readers as well. Keep up the great work! – Chad S.