Food and Sundries Storage – Pt. 2, by Pete Thorsen

(Continued from Part 1.)

Keep in mind that if there is no grid power, there will be no refrigerator or freezer to store that meat. [JWR Adds: That is, unless you have an alternative power system.  A generator is only viable in a short term disaster.  For a situation lasting months to a decade or more, then photovoltaic power or perhaps a micro-hydro system is what you will need to provide power for refrigeration. An old-fashioned Spring House can also provide refrigeration, in some climates.]

And how are you going to be cooking everything? Plan ahead. If you have an all-electric house then how will you cook with no electricity? Even if you have natural gas (city gas) that will likely stop flowing to your house if the power is down for a while, so then what?

Do you have a propane gas grill with extra propane tanks? That will work. But if the neighbor sees you cooking on the grill (or smells you cooking up some barbecued cat, mmm!) He’ll be hungry and come over to eat your food.

A propane (or other gas) camp stove can be used inside your house to cook on, in private and in comfort. Remember to have extra fuel on hand for it. Yes, you can always cook outside with a campfire (or inside with a fireplace or wood stove). But you will need firewood, and the smoke will show everyone nearby that supper is cooking!

Many are afraid to use a camp stove to cook in their homes because they will be asphyxiated by the fumes or it will use up all the oxygen in the room, and everyone will die. That is hogwash!

Using a camp stove for cooking your supper indoors will not cause any harmful effects. You will use it for ten to thirty minutes and eat a nice meal and suffer no ill effects. But note that this is different than using it for heat where the stove burns for many, many hours at a time. Remember that maybe roughly half of the homes in the nation use unvented gas kitchen stoves that are either propane or natural gas. All of these stoves are essentially the same as a propane camp stove.

Another possibility is cooking with a solar oven. This is basically just a box with a glass front and reflective walls that you set in the sun to absorb the sun’s heat. There are many different solar ovens that you can buy or many plans and videos online that show you how to make your own. It can be as simple as a cardboard box with aluminum foil wings to direct the sun into the box and onto the dark pan sitting inside that box.

Sharing Food    

So you have all that food stored up for your family. And all that your neighbors have is a salt shaker and a fork. Do you share? This is a personal question and circumstances could easily change your answer. If you have plenty of food and the emergency situation is assuredly just a temporary one, then the likely logical answer is to share with your friends and neighbors.

But what if the situation is very likely to be long-term — a month or possibly even a year? In any bad situation, there will be beggars just like there are now only they will be in larger numbers and much more desperate. And desperate people do desperate things.

In the long-term situation if you share your food with a beggar and he/she/they move on they will return when they need food again. And if another person asks them where they got that food, they will mention your house. Soon your house will be the local soup kitchen and your stored food that could have lasted your family of four for a year is now almost gone because of feeding just the four of you are instead feeding ten or twenty or even more.

Then you tell all of them that the food is gone. They will not believe that and will assume you are just selfishly hoarding all your food now, for yourself. They will band together into a mob to take your food by force and if you or your family dies in the process that will just be too bad for you. Or the best case scenario is they just take all of your food and leave you and your family healthy enough to beg for food just like them.

Or maybe you are heavily armed and when you realize that you must save the remainder of your food for your own family and you will kill to protect the small amount of food that you have left. So now you likely have to shoot and kill all those same beggars that you have been feeding. At that point how have you helped them by feeding them? How have you helped your own family by drastically reducing the amount of stored food you have in storage?

The most logical answer is to turn away all the beggars in the first place. But again this is a personal decision you will likely have to make. Americans are overall a giving people. It goes against the grain to turn away those in need. In the aforementioned situation where a disaster is long term, you will have to live with whatever decision you choose to make. The best time to think about this situation is now, instead of then.

One answer is to give your extra food to the local food shelf or church, in times of need. Let them disperse the food to those in need, and the needy do not have to know the food originally came from you. This way you and your family are safer without anyone knowing that you have stored food, but still you are helping your fellow man.

Like I said, it is a very personal decision. I might have made you think that I am against giving to those in need. But that was not my intention. I was merely showing you a possible poor outcome if you did choose to share your food. Again, it is a personal choice to make, and obviously, circumstance would change what decision you would make. While making preparations for your family also keep your friends and neighbors in mind. Either get additional food to give away or plan on turning them away and not giving away any of your stored food.

Loose Lips

What I’ve just described is one of the reasons that any preparations you choose to make for the future safety of your family should be a secret. Everyone who knows that you are ready for any emergency will promptly make their way to your house as soon as the electric power goes off or it starts to snow or any other possible disaster situation occurs.

They will demand to borrow your generator. They will demand to borrow some fuel for their generator. They will demand to borrow your gas grill and propane. They will demand that you feed them. Refuse, and things could easily get very ugly quickly.

If no one knows what you have, then it can be your choice if you decide to share something or not. Some old sayings are very true like ‘Loose lips sink ships.’ If no one knows that you have stuff, then it will be Your choice if you share. If everyone knows you have stuff, it will more likely be Their choice if you share.

Look at how many people behave at stores having a Black Friday sale: They get aggressive, pushing and shoving and often even fighting. If they do that now over saving a few bucks on something that they likely don’t even need, just think how they will act when they are starving and ‘think’ that you have food?

Hunting And Trapping

Are you planning on hunting for food? Well, so is everyone else. And the sound of a shot can be heard for a very long way. This can draw the guy that does not know how to hunt but does know how to shoot so he can take that deer you carefully stalked and killed. Also, there will likely be roving packs of feral dogs, and they will soon associate that the sound of a gunshot means food for them. Consider: A gut pile from a dead deer or a dead hunter someone else shot or perhaps you if you are busy gutting out your fresh kill. That will be both the dead deer and you on the dog’s menu. The dogs will get food from any of those scenarios.

Caution will be needed all the time. Many people will be trying to hunt for food, and even a poor hunter is lucky sometimes. Wild game numbers in easily-accessible areas will diminish rapidly until only the smartest and fastest animals are left alive. But that is for easy accessible areas. If you live in the boondocks far from any urban center, then the wild game will not diminish in numbers so quickly. Same with fish in the rivers and lakes though that will likely take much longer. So sure, supplement your stored food with fresh wild supplies when you can. But only depend on what you have stored, the wild stuff, whether plant or animal, will only be a possibility, not a sure thing.

Snares and traps will be very useful for an easy and quiet way to add fresh meat. Both are indiscriminate so they might get you a fat rabbit or a skunk or a cat or the neighbor kid. The snare you set in the deer trail could just as easily kill a kid running down the trail. As with everything use with caution and try to think ahead. Also, if someone sees you set snares or traps, they can make it a point to check them daily before you. Or just take them and set them elsewhere.

(To be continued.)


  1. I have a solar oven. Love it. Love the fact that it doesn’t emit odor or smoke.

    And a question: many authors on this site recommend giving food to charities rather than beggars. I get the reason. But no one mentions the logistics. How do I get that food to them post SHTF without compromising OPSEC? Seems what I’m doing would be pretty obvious and an invitation for assault.

    1. Nurse Kim, you nailed it.

      All of the talk about giving food to others, which appears from time-to-time on survival sites, is just so much hoo-ey if maintaining one’s family’s safety is a paramount consideration. Dealing with troubles in the aftermath of an earthquake or hurricane is one thing. Yet, after a full-blown societal meltdown that continues for many months or years, such as one would expect after an EMP attack, such charity could get you and your family killed. Personally, I believe that such talk is a nod to “preparedness political correctness” so that a person who is concerned about how he will be judged by others can avoid criticism by offering a solution that provides for his “fellow man.”

      I have heard people suggest dropping off food to churches and such in order to satisfy their charitable impulses. Maybe. As you point out, however, there are logistics involved in trying to play “Santa” in the middle of the night. (Come to think of it, however, I have never met anyone who actually saw Santa making deliveries on Christmas Eve, so I guess it can be done successfully.)

      For every prepper/survivalist who has taken advice to find like-minded individuals who might join their preparedness group in ADVANCE of any crisis and gotten no response from these individuals, that prepper/survivalist can expect that these same individuals will show up at his door after a crisis develops with a knife, fork, and empty stomach.

      Even for those who band together after the crisis in a Mutual Assistance Group, as resources of the newbies are exhausted with time, the prepper/survivalist can expect that the others will increasingly look to him or her for their sustenance. Sharing with these people would not be charity, however, as there would be serious self-interest issues involved for the prepper/survivalist.

      It might “take a village” to survive a crisis, but it may well be that the only realistic solution is for the prepper/survivalist to be prepared to feed that village in order to make sure that “team members” do not become adversaries.

      1. Survivorman99, you raise important issues. Team members have to bring value from day one. Ideally they develop trust and care for each other and feed each other.

        As for transient, hungry people…I have a hand-made sign that says, “Free Food, one mile”. Another one says “CAUTION–EBOLA”.

        Better to my mind to avoid the sticky situation with beggars and other folks.

        Carry on

  2. You said, “Using a camp stove for cooking your supper indoors will not cause any harmful effects.”

    All these stove produce carbon monoxide, which is toxic. In high enough concentrations, it can be deadly. As you suggest short, infrequent burns in a large enough space (with some exchange with outside air) might be OK. Otherwise, it isn’t hogwash, it is a concern.

    1. Isn’t that exactly what the author said? Why did you repeat it like an admonishment? You need to re-read that part of the article again my friend.

    2. Normal combustion produces carbon dioxide. It can produce carbon monoxide when use in a tightly closed area and the oxygen is nearly depleted. Hence the warning about using it as a heat source vs cooking only.

      1. Propane has a complete stoichiometric combustion ratio of 2 moles of propane to 10 moles of oxygen. Therefore, propane will completely combust to produce 6 moles of carbon dioxide and 8 moles of water vapor. However, as soon as you put a pan on the burner, the pan absorbs heat from the reaction and the combustion process becomes less than complete. At this point, small amounts of carbon monoxide are formed. The more heat removed from the combustion, the more carbon monoxide is formed. Due to sufficient oxygen surrounding the combustion, most of the CO will ultimately oxidize to CO2. Similar reactions occur with natural gas (methane). Ultimately, the quantities of CO generated by cooking with modern appliances are very small including propane camping stoves. It is possible for a faulty burner assembly to provide an improper fuel/air mixture. The best indicator of good combustion is a nice blue flame. Propane may generate wisps of yellow or white at the flame tips, and that is okay. If you notice mostly yellow flames or notice any black soot forming on the pan or detect a pungent odor, shut it down and ventilate the area.

        Liquid fueled camping stoves are a completely different matter and should only be used outdoors. The combustion process for these is quite complex, and significant and potentially dangerous amounts of carbon monoxide and other incomplete combustion products can be formed. The accidental fire hazard is also considerable.

      2. Beware of a wood stove in a tightly built and insulated house.

        In my hippie days, I visited a farm where the members of the group had just finished insulated the big barn that they slept in. They were very proud, and were celebrating their accomplishment.

        It was late autumn, and cold, so the woodstove was very welcome when I crawled into my sleeping bag in the loft that night.

        A few hours later, I woke up, hurried over to the railing of the loft, and started screaming at the top of my voice: “There’s no air! WAKE UP! Open the doors! There’s no air!”

        Everyone else was sleeping, and had I not woken up because of lack of air, we probably would all have been dead by morning.

        This happened in a leaky old wooden barn. Imagine what would have happened in a modern, well-insulated house if the wood stove did not have an outside air supply, and there were no electric fans.

    3. A properly burning propane burner is 99.9% clean (the main discharge is water vapor). Like I said in the article just look at half the homes in America that have unvented gas kitchen ranges. Sometimes for big meals the oven and multiple burners are on at the same time for extended periods of time on these ranges. If they were unsafe at all they would be banned by the nanny government. Besides the unvented gas kitchen ranges many homes have unvented fireplaces that are used for heat or decoration. Using these very real examples it is impractical to think that using a propane camp stove for twenty minutes would cause harm to the occupants of a house.
      But I do understand that some people might be ultra sensitive and unable to live in any house with a gas range. And I do understand that some people are uncomfortable in any house with gas appliances. And that is why there are many all-electric houses. That is fine and I certainly respect anyone who chooses not to have gas appliances.

      In the article I am talking about survival situations. If you have an all-electric house you have to plan differently than someone that has a propane gas kitchen range. You will have to decide how you will cook your food or boil your water to make it safe to drink. If the only option you are comfortable with is to build a campfire in your backyard that is perfectly fine.
      For me and thousands of other homeowners I will just walk over to my gas kitchen range and make my meal the same as any other day.

    4. Your crying ‘wolf’ unnecessarily. I moved totally off grid and though I had a propane range, I had not hooked it up for over a year, but cooked on a Coleman two burner camping stove with the little one pound bottles of propane. This was in a little old (60’s) mobile home that was only able 42′ long. It works fine.

  3. While I greatly believe in charity, you may be the only person person who is even capable of sparing any extra. Even among prepper minded folks I’ve been shocked at the lack of food storage. I just hope and pray that there are many other folks myself with large quantities of dry goods that they’re smart enough not to talk about. Back to charity, if roughly 25% of the population was preppers you could probably make it work, but it’s [now] much lower than that.

  4. When I herded sheep, it was in a small cabin in the mountains and I quite often used a coleman stove for morning, noon and evening meals with coffee in between. At no time did I get headaches or other indications of carbon monoxide poisoning. Yes I was in and out except in the evening. The windows were closed against the chill air. Moderation will see the useage as safe. Putting it to work as a room warmer does have its dangers and is outside of its designed intent.

  5. I live in an out of the way rural subdivision about ten miles from the nearest town. their are about eighty families here. In a catastrophe, I would give each of my neighbors that asked for help enough food and water to get to the nearest town with their promise to leave, ONCE.

    That way I would not have hungry and thirsty people nearby coveting my stuff. And I would not feel too guilty after helping them get to what could not be worse.

      1. Peter,

        The argument that all people are going to hunt, fish and trap, and the population dynamics of all animals will dwindle so fast that nothing will be left.

        The argument that store bought food, and the technology available to store that food is the defining characteristic of human civility. When watching current events and natural disasters, it seems everyone is stealing store bought food, and we know this because of black Friday sales.

        You know, this is very similar to Monsanto’s argument about why we need drought resistant crops.

        I have yet to see any solid proof of everyone hunting and trapping the country side. It is interesting to me that this argument is always reproduced in a way that it is fact, but yet…I haven’t seen a single fact, ever, to support that this is how all humans will behave. Maybe it exists and I just haven’t seen it? This is why I am asking about sources.

        1. I agree with you 100%
          In almost every apocalyptic talk everyone always says that all the fish and wildlife would be wiped out very quickly. Sometimes as an example they speak of the wildlife populations after or during the Great Depression. And it it very true that wildlife populations were almost wiped out during that time. But like always there is more to that story.
          Prior to the Great Depression wildlife populations were at unheard of lows due to the common indiscriminate hunting practices of the day and widespread market hunting. That was Before the great depression. Also most of the population was rural and hunted.
          Today about 6% of the US population hunt. If there was a survival situation that number would increase I would think. If the number tripled it would still only be 18% of the population.
          Also current hunters easily travel distances to hunt. In a survival situation I would expect travel to be severely restricted. That is why in my above article I mentioned wild game in easily accessible areas would likely face heavy hunting pressure. Plus now hunters have about a 30% or less success ratio and that is with easy travel availability. Restrict travel and increase hunting pressure and hunter success would certainly drop.
          So while hunting is an option for everyone it could not be depended on for your survival.

          1. Any a long term survival situation, people would do whatever they had to get food. That would definitely include hunting. About 25% of the population owns guns. So at least 25% would be hunting (plus whatever % of the population could get a gun those that have guns).

            Many of those people would not be good hunters, but the number of them would more than make up for the difference.

            If you are in a very remote area, this might not matter. But for everyone else, I think it would.

            Either way, I would not bet my food security on it.

          2. Like I’ve said before… there’s a reason we have old nursery rhymes like “4 and 20 black birds baked in a pie”… it was a real thing. In the past, many people ate things we don’t normally think of as a food source in modern times, including things like small song birds, or herons. Be prepared to “eat crow” (supposedly poor tasting because they eat carrion). Be prepared to shoot waterfowl which are normally passed over, like coots (same reason, poor taste due to diet). I assume a lot of pigeons will fall prey to kids with air rifles (good eating but maintain hygenic practices).
            Be prepared to eat stray dogs (like they do in asia).
            Personally, I wouldn’t plan on finding big game. They’re very work intensive, and hard enough to find in good times. All the half tame deer that live in the suburbs will be gone in the first month.
            Think small, think quiet, think low time and energy expenditure… snares, traps, air rifles, cross bows, fishing.
            Speaking of fishing, don’t forget frogs, crayfish, turtles.

          1. Benjammin,

            Your sources of people hunting and trapping in the country for survival is anecdotal evidence of you in a urban center, in the desert, with little precipitation and warm temperature, the two fundamental elements for sustaining a wide species of life, during a police occupation? And, Selco, an anonymous author who specializes in urban survival, for a small fee…? Lastly, who is Mr. Obvious?

            While I certainly thank you for your service, I am not sure this is the type of source that qualifies as substantial evidence for saying ALL humans, in ALL places, will behave the same. Country, city, types of climate, culture, war, economic trade, types of development, all very useful things when it comes to understanding the influences of human behavior.

  6. For those concerned about humanitarian food distribution.
    You are on this website because you are planning ahead. You store food because you are planning ahead. If you want to give food to those in need shouldn’t you also plan ahead?
    All of you reading this are smart. That is why you are visiting sites such as this. All circumstances for every person are different. So I cannot tell all of you an ironclad safe way to distribute humanitarian aid. It is fraught with possible danger. And I tried to stress that in the short article. But you guys are smart and if this distribution is something you would want to do, then you would logically plan ahead for that. One way might possibly be dropping the food at the house of your clergyman so only he would know its true source. Obviously you would have to trust him to do this. If you did not trust him then I would suggest a different clergyman. This is just one example. And all of you are correct about ANY contact with anyone during a survival situation being a possible danger.
    A person can plan ahead but when the time comes those plans might have to be altered or the whole plan thrown out the window. While we all plan ahead it is obvious that none of us know what the future might bring. We will all have to think on our feet at that time.

  7. Around populated areas, there are definitely far more guns than there are animals to hunt. I know many ‘preppers’ who say they’ll hunt.

    Those hunting forays will absolutely change in 48 hours after their food is gone.

    I bought 50 bucks worth of Top Ramen, Beans, and Rice specifically designated for charity food if collapse comes. It’s a lotta food.

    Back to the original query, most communities have a food bank function but you can plan on it, like most stores, to be looted within 48 hours of major crisis whether in major cities or small towns. Plan for it.

  8. Hunting and trapping: I have read that there are no dogs or cats on the streets of Venezuela these days. I have read that in the 1800s during a famine in France, all the dogs and cats disappeared. Where we live there are a lot of deer, just saw 12 in our backyard yesterday. I do not expect they would last long if/when the trucks stop rolling.
    I also have read that the veneer of civilization is approx. 3 days long when people are hungry. That seems realistic when watching Black Friday sales and other such events, including the Superdome in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.
    The majority of democrats favor godless socialism. Abortion now includes murdering the new born in some parts of America.
    How much longer will God stay His hand from destroying this nation?
    Common sense tells me it is high time to repent and to plan ahead…I truly believe that “something wicked this way comes”.
    Just my $.02.

  9. Pete
    After a major hurricane I’m my region, the State Game Wardens assisted checking on locals in my rural area. They asked, Do you have enough food and water. MANY said, Yes, we opened deer season early this year. I have spoke with many people and listened to conversations with many people. Their comments were always, “Ha, I got guns and bullets and I’m going to live off the land”. By that they mean kill deer, rabbits, and squirrels. I wonder if they are thinking about the deer and rabbits they see running down the roadside. I know the statistics about people hunting, etc. I’ve also read the statistics published by the Fish and Game in different states. They will supply the info you are requesting. I spoke at length with a man who grew up in the 1950s in Kentucky. He said that until game laws were enforced in his county, deer were never seen. If someone saw one, word would spread and people would drive 20 miles to see it. I have only read of one person who lived off the land in the Bitteroot Mountains for 3 months. He took no food and survived off plants and game there.

    1. I grew up in northern New Jersey in the 1960’s. I remember my mother calling me to come quick and look out the window.

      A deer! I had never seen one before.

    2. The deer population in Kentucky disappeared because of indiscriminate hunting/poaching sometime well before 1960. Just how far back that went, I do not know. I do know that a Fish and Wildlife program reintroduced deer to the state and that the deer population grew to the point that the first legal deer season in modern times occurred in 1960.

      Poaching is still a problem in some areas, yet the deer population has exploded to the point that seeing deer is now commonplace throughout the state.

      I have read that if all of the deer hunters in Wisconsin on opening day of deer season were in a national army, that army would be the 6th largest army in the world. Imagine how those numbers would explode in a major crisis.

      With the exception of limited parts of the country, I believe that most people who depend on bagging a deer during a major catastrophe and who count on that meat source as a serious part of their survival plan are fools. The woods and fields would likely be filled with so many hunters that the deer population would be decimated in short order.

  10. I’d like to add and endorsement to Wheatley Fisher’s comment on the likely looting of food bank facilities within 48 hours in an extreme breakdown situation:

    Nobody seems to mention that trying to set up distribution through such food banks or churches/pastors, etc. for your safety is likely to make THEM a target (instead of you). Are you willing to set the workers, pastor, etc. up as targets??? I’d suggest this as a viable alternative if and when (and ONLY when) the community (including you) is ready, able and willing to defend them from raiders. Otherwise, it’s likely a wasted effort – the workers could easily be captured and tortured for information leading to you and other donors anyway. I recommend doing this only when your whole community is solid and stabilized.

    (For lesser or shorter breakdowns, of course, you can follow your heart and judgment. I will be.)

    1. Thanks Preacher.

      Our large church (1500+)has set up an Emergency Services committee which so far is only educational. No help there.

      Our town food bank has been broken into and vandalized nearly a dozen times this winter, in a town with lots of comfy retirees and few homeless.

      We have established a small group for Life Safety Ministry to guard our worship services, knowing that even that only provides token protection.

      I personally give about 7% to benevolence and support sharing with others.

      That all said, if we don’t collectively work together for support and security, the 10% habitual criminals will have their crimes added to by the 80% “criminals by necessity” who’ll be committing similar depredations upon us, the 10% of population modestly prepared.

      So I feel pretty strongly that we should each stockpile designated charitable contributions of food, diapers, some tubs of clean used clothing, and maybe some surplus cooking/eating items, other items as you are motivated to stockpile.

      God’s Word says to first provide for our fellowship in faith, then others.

      All here should agree that if our faith community has families losing homes or all possessions, suffers for various reasons, we should be the first to step in to help. That takes preparation and forethought. I hope each of you joins me in that effort.

      Meanwhile we need to actively screen our neighbors for self defense interest, capability, and intent. Then make a simple self defense plan and rehearse it with them.

      God Bless

  11. Consider the 1980s case of kidnappers/murderers Don and Dan Nichols in Big Sky Montana….after their crimes they took to the woods to “live off the land” and made it for about 5 months….but….they barely survived even though they knew those woods like the back of their hand…..and even planted random little gardens….if they hadn’t resorted to breaking into abandoned summer homes they would have starved….their biggest problem was the possibility of accidently running into hunters or hikers….same thing could be contemplated post SHTF….others will be foraging in the woods besides you and me….and they’ll have guns too.

  12. Many good comments and here is my $.02. I have a good food and other stock pile but I also have clothing several sizes too large for me at todays weight. So if TEOTWAWKI happens I will answer the door with large baggy clothing and ask them if they have any food to spare. I also agree that storm clouds are brewing and we must be ready for the storm that is coming. I once took an oath to defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign or DOMESTIC and I will.

  13. RE: Hunting & Trapping,
    Muddykid wants proof that all humans will obey this way, hunting & trapping all the animals. He is right there is no proof. Of course, all (probably most) will not hunt, but after the initial die off, those people will not be around. With the large number of people and small numbers of animals in the major cities, those deer on the golf course will be gone the first week. Next the people that are still alive will be in FEMA shelters, or scrapping by foraging in the city. Few (I believe) who read this blog are among those people. For those of us who live in a rural area, who normally hunt, trap and fish, there will be serious deprivation of wild game. This has been debated before with as much proof as we can give:

    The great depression is solid proof how game was decimated in rural areas. You don’t need a lot of people to kill off the deer population. As pointed out in my previous posting to muddykid on this, one man on 1,000 acres made a huge notable impact on the deer population. A quick check on the internet of how many acres does a deer need varies greatly state by state, but it is 100s of acres. As hunting pressure increases, just like deer season, deer that survive will become increasingly nocturnal, making hunting that much more difficult resulting in much more time spent to harvest one. Who watches the homestead while you spend hours away hunting? I believe once the human population has been greatly reduced, wildlife populations will rebound, but that could take years. My advice to muddykid is to find a bug out location with a very large game population and a very low human population. That way you will be set. For me, I plan on eating beef, chicken, rabbit and home grown produce to supplement my stored food.

    1. Ozark Redneck,

      This is a great reply. As detailed in the story you linked, together with your comments here, getting people to think outside of the normal narrative is a interest of mine with my interaction (articles or comments) on Sblog.

      A key part of survival is innovation. In effort to be innovated, thinking outside of the box is key. As such, solely relying on hunting is not wise. But, the idea that any of us are going to store our way to safety, is not only expensive and unreasonable, its just not practical. So, when articles reproduce narratives about all food will be gone and we need to spend a bunch of money, money that people may not have, well…there are alternatives available. That is my primary point.

    2. In the Foxfire Books, those folks relating their families’ histories talked about rarely harvesting deer, but relying on their farm animals for subsistence. Yes, they hunted, and would harvest a deer when they came upon it, but usually relied on chicken, pigs, and other sources for their protein. They also ate “non-traditional” (?) sources of protein, i.e. racoon and possums, etc. Bears were often mentioned in their stories, but how often (depending on your location) do you hear about bears? O’ course, the Foxfire books were set in the Smokies/ Appalachians so some of that game was available for harvesting there…

  14. Since night vision scopes, [thermal] scopes, suppressors, and very accurate long range rifles are now available, it will be easier to violate present game laws. Deer and other animals rely on darkness to rest and also to forage for food in areas where they would be in danger during daylight. This makes shooting Bambi a lot easier, but very expensive. Buying good quality freeze dried food will be easier and safer than hunting. If you value your life, it is past time to do something. The democrats in Congress have allowed the ATMs to be shut off in 139 countries and the banks won’t change US dollars into local currency. I just returned from my condo in Colombia and had a problem getting pesos. Some places will buy gold coins for pesos, but they take a large commission. If you planned on leaving the country in a crisis, it may be too late.

    1. Besides wild game there are a few domestic animals also.

      Cows 94 million
      Pigs/hogs 70 million
      Goats 2.6 million
      Horses 20 million
      Sheep 5.3 million
      Tame Turkey 100 million
      Chickens 9+ Billion
      Deer 30 million
      Elk 1 million

      Please just think about chickens. Over 9 billion, a number that is impossible to even imagine. The above list is missing many other edibles both wild and domestic. But think of all the meat in just the above list.

      1. Pete the numbers are impressive but depending on the problem distribution will be the big issue. If Nebraska has a million hogs but there is no rail or trucking to get them to New York City what good will they be to New York or any other city?

  15. In 1996 my wife & I were on a Red Cross Disaster Team. During our training it was brought up that Anchorage and most of Alaska has only 2 weeks of food in the stores. We get 2 ships a week with all kinds of supplies and a few barges. If our food chain is interrupted for any length of time, we will see shortages. This happened early January 2018 when one of the ships went in for 3 days of maintenance that turned into 3 weeks. The cargo on the remaining ship went from all mixed cargo to food only and at the end of 3 weeks the shelves in the grocery stores showed many gaps. Then January 23, 2018 a 7.2 earthquake struck Anchorage further compounding the problem. Then November 30 2018 at around 08:30 a 7.1 earthquake hit 18 miles north west of Anchorage and really shook things up. It’s estimated a billion dollars or more of damage occurred. A lot of food fell on the floor and glass jars broke in the grocery stores. It was announced on the news that there still was only 2 weeks supply of food in the rail and road system of Alaska. Add to this the rail line North to Fairbanks was out for 4 days.
    My observations when grocery shopping is that around 3:30 to 4:30 many people are just off from work and are running around buying tonight’s supper. Many grocery stores and Costco have premade oven roasted chicken and over 100 of these are sold every day in Anchorage alone. Many people buy just what they need every day.
    In the large cities like New York apartments are so small that it is almost impossible to have any food storage to speak of. People buy what they need for that day for a meal or dine out at night.
    Remember I said in 1996 I was told that there was only 2 weeks of food in Anchorage? Well there still is only 2 weeks of food in Anchorage. Let’s look at Ney York City where many people do not own vehicles but rely on public transportation. Many of them by the time they realize the magnitude of the situation they will be in will be in no condition to walk out of the city and transportation will probably be gone from the folks that do have vehicles and have already left. It is reported that because of just in time delivery it requires 6,000 trucks a day to the food distribution centers of NYC to feed the people of NYC. What will happen when the trucks stop for 2 weeks, a month?
    As a prepper you cannot nor should you be expected to help people on an individual case. If you are expecting family or friends you should be ready to care for them and have supplies for them for an extended period.

    1. Just for the records

      they would also Need 6000 trucks a day if they had storaged enough Food for a week, a month or 5 years if they want to Keep their Depots and some Food must be Fresh.

  16. Hey Pete, just a thought….many of those domestic animals you are talking about (mostly all of them) belong to the agricultural/food processing complex. How many of those 100,000+ chickens in a egg production facility in SoCal will even live through the first month? Those that don’t starve because of the breakdown will be eaten by locals or rote in their cages.

  17. Thanks everyone for the lively discussion. If we really think hunting and foraging could sustain us why put away any food? Why did humans go from hunter gatherers to farming?

    One thing is for sure, be prepared with stored food, be ready to trap/hunt/forage to supplement your stored food and then have the means to grow/raise food for the long-term. Don’t plan your survival on source or type of food, be ready to adapt when your stored food gets bugs or goes bad, or when you see no game, or your garden fails. Or should I say don’t put all your eggs in one basket!

  18. Thank you all for taking your time to reply to my article! All replies had merit and many drew from experience which is always the best.
    Like I said in my article whether you are talking your garden, your own livestock, wild game, foraging, or fishing there are always things that can happen to cause those food sources to not produce enough to sustain you and yours. That is why we store food. We store the food for a buffer. We store the food to give us all something that we cannot store – time. Your stored food gives you time to access another source of food or multiple sources.

  19. Please do not take the “expert” advice squeezed into this post without doing due diligence to ensure your family’s safety. The author writes of propane grills possibly drawing attention of neighbors, so by all means move it indoors! The author then rightly advises about the safe use of propane stoves inside and how they will not deplete the oxygen in the home. That is true! BUT:

    –Please, for G-d’s sake do not think that means one can use a 20lb cylinder indoors or that anything larger than a single burner backpack burner is safe. The author clearly mentioned short-term stove use, but there are too many who may not make the connection or disconnection between one-pound cylinders and a Firefly stove versus a big ole barbecue or burner with a big ole bucket o’ gas.
    ~ Propane camp stoves are not “essentially the same” as professionally installed and maintained hard-piped natural gas or propane stoves and ovens. They are FAR from the same and deserve extra caution.

    The following comes from the National Fire Protection Agency… you know, the agency made up of firefighters… the same ones who have to risk their lives going into burning homes because some goofball decided they knew better than the scientists and professionals and coroners when it came to using propane stoves and grills inside a home.

    “The leading equipment involving in LP-gas home structure fires is a grill, hibachi, or barbecue.
    Propane safety tips:
    Handle any propane-powered equipment cautiously and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
    Cylinder tanks for equipment such as stoves and ovens must be located outside of the home.
    Never store or use propane gas cylinders larger than one pound inside the home.
    Never operate a propane-powered gas grill inside the home.
    Have propane gas equipment inspected periodically by a professional for possible leaks or malfunctioning parts.
    Carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions when lighting a pilot.
    If you smell a strong odor of gas, leave the area immediately and call the fire department from outside the home.


  20. Regarding surviving on livestock, particularly chickens, remember that most livestock is in commercial feeding operations that truck in tons of food on a weekly basis and rely on electrically powered water pumps for drinking water. Without the grid the water and food supply for the livestock quickly stops and in a few days all you have are rotting carcasses and a source of disease.
    For those of us who raise our own livestock you must include in your planning a way to keep the livestock fed as well as your family.
    Also, regarding chickens, there is a reason that Sunday dinner for the preacher was chicken. Prior to the interstate trucking industry chickens were kept for eggs, not meat, as the grain required to raise meat chickens was too expensive to waste on chickens. Chicken was expensive meat! Eggs are however a cheap source of protein without killing the chicken. Rabbit is the cheapest source of meat based on feed to meat ratio but will require a source of hay.
    Overall, plan. Planning to use your livestock as part of your food storage requires food and water for the livestock.

  21. Good article. Got people a bit worked up though. I’ll take the notes about using propane or gas stoves seriously. I’ll take the comments about the risks associated with charity with a huge grain of salt.

    There is an very small chance we will experience a TEOTWAWKI event in our lifetimes. Why people gravitate to such a scenario as the standard is beyond me. There is however a very good chance of a major financial or regional natural disaster that results in chaos for months or a few years. Perhaps a full blown depression for several years. War is a distant third place in my book. Helping people within our means is honorable and I believe expected by God. If we have the means to store away extra now or produce extra in rough times then it can be shared as a to help those in need. We have an opportunity and perhaps for some of us the obligation to plan for this now, before such times are upon us. I don’t envision having to fight my way down to a church to drop off food for distribution from the food pantry, although if it comes to that then we must ask ourselves who else will take the risk to help others if we don’t.

  22. Pete
    As a livestock owner, many of us have a contingency plan to protect our livestock. This has been planned out in detail. First, you won’t see them during the day. Second, you won’t see the people watching you watch them, thru an optic attached to a firearm at night. Also, most people today do not raise all the food to feed their livestock. Feed stores closed, no feed to purchase, animals die of starvation. Also, many neighborhoods have contingency plans where outsiders will not enter protected communities.
    Few people know how to process a live animal without wasting most of it. Once processed, they do not know how to process it to keep it safe to eat by canning, smoking, or preserving with salt. If they know how, they won’t have the supplies: canning jars, lids, salt. If you have read just one of JWR’s books, you would see where looters killed a 2000 pound breeding bull and cut a few chunks of meat from the hindquarters and left the rest to rot. My father, uncles, great uncles lived by farming with mules and plows and supplemental hunting. They worked from two hours before sunrise til two hours after dark every day and there were 3 boys in the family. They were all skinny people from the long hours of hard manual labor. They stayed alive because people back then respected property rights and knew what came out of the barrel of a gun.
    One thing I’ve noticed is that this “living off the land” thinking is due to the “COST” of purchasing survival food. If this is the case, then they need some training. In my local area, you can purchase top quality rice from the rice mill for $18 per 50 pound bag. Local 5 or 6 gallon food grade buckets and lids cab be purchased from Lowes for $8. Mylar bags for these buckets and oxygen absorbers online for $1 each on sale, regularly. Two 50 pound bags will fill 3 buckets. So, for $56 you have 100 pounds of rice. You can do the same with pinto beans, black beans, black eyed peas. How many people waste that much money every month? How long could you live off 3 buckets of rice and 3 buckets beans. Yea, you would get tired of that but learn more and adapt. Concerning the “huge” amount of game, there are still professional deer hunters that I’ve heard about in my county. They kill 6 to 8 deer per night when they hunt. They are limited by game wardens and sheriff deputies on patrol. They hunt 2 to 3 nights per week. They will sell a skinned and quartered deer for $100. Imagine the future.
    Final thought. Do you love your family? Do you have 750 pounds of rice stored for each family member? The same for beans? The same for corn?
    Ain’t done yet.

    1. Great post Big Mike. My wife once asked me how much food is enough food. I told her there actually isn’t ever enough, but we’ll have to make do with what we have. I have up trying to make others understand. They will have to learn the hard way.

  23. I always find it interesting how people delude themselves into believing that they will survive by living off the land. Big Mike has it right but I would add that a large stock of canned goods, brought on sale, is an excellent way to supplement your larder. Many studies have shown that canned goods will last many years when properly stored. Many hams and sea foods have 3 year expiration dates on the cans. As an example we have many times tested canned beans, hams and others many years after their expiration dates. Use common sense, don’t use rusted or dented cans. Smell the opened cans for bad odors. I don’t recommend eating these on a regular basis, but during a long term emergency (months) you will be glad for the variety. Also DO NOT FORGET WATER.

  24. Do not forget water filters…..bears repeating.
    I’m of the camp there are a whole lot of proficient hunters across this nation. Some area’s are a bit more remote than others, this being the key to numbers. Both the extent of the total kills, and how long it takes to clear them out. All those squirrels will eat good, but deliver little. I think fishing with nets, trotlines and traps would be a wise path as well.

    No one brought up farming maggots and worms, so I will………glad that’s over with.

    Destined to be ugly, my Bible tells me so. Get God Guys.

    God guns n grub, guys n gals, the new relevant 5G network.

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