Using Canning Jars For All Food Stores and More – Part 2, by Sarah Latimer

What We Store In Jars Dry, bulk goods. This category of items includes grains, dried pasta, dried potato flakes, dry beans, and rice for long-term storage. We buy these in 40- and 50-pound bags from the Mormon storehouse, Costco, and online vendors and then repackage them into the half gallon jars, which are then vacuum sealed, using our FoodSaver Jar Sealer connected to an electric vacuum pump system that Hugh installed into my kitchen. It takes less than a minute to put the lid on, vacuum seal a jar, and put the ring on. All I have to do at …




Letter Re: Prepper Auctions

HJL, In my 26 years as an auctioneer I have conducted over five of these type auctions. Three were defaulted storage auctions. Normally, we don’t know what we have until the door is opened. The first one that I remember was around 1993. It was a 10 X 20 unit. In it were three crossbows, boxes of climbing gear for mountain climbing (crampons, pitons, ropes, and harnesses), first aid kits with blood expander, packs and pack frames, firearms, various brands of dehydrated food, small cook stoves, and so forth. The next one I remember was a 5 X 10 heated …




The Survival Mule Secure Locker/Trailer Combo

I’ve been posting SurvivalBlog for more than 10 years. I’ve seen a lot of great products come to market, but very few of them have been truly novel concepts. Most of them are just variations on a theme. But I recently had some conversations with a consulting client that amazed me. This former Marine has truly “built a better mousetrap”. He calls it The Survival Mule. This is a fantastic solution to a common prepper dilemma: “How do I get a trailer load of Get Out of Dodge gear on the road, quickly?” What he came up was a wall …




A New Kind of Bucket List, by C.W.- Part 2

Now that I have explained the advantages and disadvantages of using a bucket system for storing preparations, allow me to share a few other ideas that may also be of interest, should you decide to attack your household with buckets. I believe that families who have homes that are kept clean and organized will be much better prepared for whatever comes at them. We all know friends or relatives who have lots of stuff (a.k.a. chaos), yet they have little idea of how to find an item when they want it or need it. So, off they go to the …




Letter Re: DIY Desiccant Packs

Hugh- Many preppers (those that are going for the long term) use moisture absorbers in their food, ammo, and other storage containers and caches. I recently re-discovered an old technique for DIY desiccant packs that is much less expensive than purchasing them complete and outright, even when one makes bulk buys. As background, the actual desiccant medium used for moisture absorption is Silica Gel. Now one can look at places, like Amazon, and confirm that this stuff sells for upwards of $15 per Kg (2.2 pounds). Even then one is faced with the task of packaging it in suitable sizes …




Advice on Caching Containers

I recently had a consulting client ask me about sources for waterproof containers that she could use for caching guns, ammo, food, camping gear, and so forth. I generally prefer military surplus ammo cans and shipping containers for two reasons: They are made to rigorous military specifications (“mil-spec”), and They are relatively inexpensive, compared to their civilian counterparts. For ammunition caches, I generally prefer military surplus (“mil-surp”) 20mm ammo cans. The larger 30mm cans hold even more, but they are so heavy when full that they are a pain to transport any distance. If you opt for the 30mm size, …




Letter: A Two Year Experiment

Two years ago I buried cash and silver coins on some property I own as an experiment to see how well the cash and silver would fare. Oct 31st 2014 was the day it was recovered. The vessel was a white plastic PVC pipe about 6” round and about 1.5 feet long capped and sealed with PVC Glue. The cash was placed in standard zip lock sandwich bags and a moisture absorber pouch was placed in each. The silver was placed in the standard coin tubes you receive when buying 20 coins at a time. No absorbers were placed in …




Letter Re: Calcium Hypochlorite Reminders

Hugh, A reminder that Calcium Hypochlorite WILL corrode metal stored anywhere nearby. Also, many articles appear stating that you can siphon gas from your gas tank. ALL late model cars and 1/2 ton trucks and vans have a restriction in the filler neck that is designed to prevent leaking gas in the event of a rollover. Siphon hoses will not work in this application. They will work in 3/4 trucks and up, because they fall into different federal class regulations. -F.M.




Letter Re: Storage Without a Basement

I’m writing in response to the discussion about how to keep food in the Southeastern United States in the heat of the summer. My mother-in-law is in her 80s. I asked her how her parents and grandparents kept their food. For things like apples, potatoes, tomatoes, they would just store it above ground, sometimes packed in sawdust, usually in open air. For canned food, her mother had a little room off the house with shelves in it. It didn’t have a window, but it also got just as hot as the house. They would keep the canned food in jars …




Letter: Silica Gel Packets

Jim, Hoping you could answer a quick question. I put two jars full of silica gel packets in a glass jar and set them in a oven at 200 degrees over night to dry them out. I noticed that a couple of the bags broke open and the silica gels were brown. Does that make them non effective. I thought they were white to start with. Thank you and may God’s blessings be upon you and your family. P.S.- I liked your comment on one of your interviews where you stated your prayer is for God to put you in …




Letter Re: Constructing In-House Caches

Captain Rawles, In response to the excellent article regarding hidden wall caches I have some feedback. I work in the tiling industry for an unnamed mid-south distributor. As a distributor for Schluter Systems I have sold many of this kit for installers / homeowners to use for concealed access panels. Schluter Rema is the trade name. They come in quite handy for whirlpool tubs wherein access is required for frequent pump maintenance. I have sold many of these and have had no complaints. Best wishes, – Matt in Ohio




Letter Re: Constructing In-House Caches

JWR, I hope all is well. I Was reading the reply to the post on “Constructing In-House Caches.” I have been thinking on this one lately and working on solutions to the problem of attachment, actually came across the solution while working for a contractor on a client’s high end project and trying to build false panels to hide a security control panel. The solution we came up with was rare earth magnets found here http://www.rare-earth-magnets.com/ or elsewhere on the net as well. you can google it! If you have plywood paneling you can attach the magnets with a screw to …




Letter Re: Constructing In-House Caches

I have just finished listening to the audiobook of your novel Expatriates with great enjoyment. Eric Dove does a great job voicing the various characters and, to this yank’s ear, a credible “Aussie” accent was required. I wanted to add a bit to the account of Chuck’s rifle hide behind wall paneling. I am a cabinet maker and have spent more than a few hours puzzling over the various problems and pitfalls of concealed storage. Several are present in Chuck’s solution. While I do not like Velcro (as it wears out, accumulates litter and makes noise) if dots are to …




Two Letters Re: Preserving a Digital Library

James, I work for a large, three-letter computer manufacturer with a penchant for Blue. Joe Ax’s comments about the problems with maintaining a digital library are right on the money. When I worked in our Storage Division (hard disks, tapes, etc.), this issue came up during a talk on medical systems’ storage needs. There is a requirement for medical records to be maintained 100 years, and yet no computer data storage system has been designed to do this. So what is the ‘solution’?  It seems that doctor’s offices are cajoled/required/encouraged to upgrade their office systems on average of about every …




Letter Re: Advice on Firearms Caching

James, In “Letter Re: Advice on Firearms Caching”, Mark J. wrote “Should I simply use a Hot Hands hand warmer inside the mylar bag and then another one inside the PVC tube? I should not have to worry about moisture if it is vacuum sealed? right? “ Well, no–regardless of the chemicals in the heater. Putting any temporary heat source in a sealed container may actually cause corrosion or water damage that wouldn’t have happened before. This is why: Heating air does not remove moisture from a confined environment; it simply increases the air’s ability to absorb moisture from other …