It has been almost two years since I have updated or worked on my Prepping 101 column. There were a few reasons. One was that my life got more complicated, and I just didn’t have that much time.
Another was that I saw shortly after the Trump election that all of the collapse minded people were losing interest. We tend to be Libertarians of a sort, and much of the stuff he said on the campaign trail sure sounded good, though little of it has come to fruition. Worse, the national debt has grown at record levels, and the American people are being sold the “Everything is Awesome” narrative like never before in history.
But by far the greatest reason was that I felt that I had done the subject justice, and in the process I have provided the world, through all of you, a resource to figure out long term survival from just about any perspective. I have covered topics so far reaching as collecting rainwater, to measuring high level radiation, and I have always given you all the links to actually buy the stuff for yourself at the most reasonable price. This column has never been clouded by advertiser interests, and we have never gotten a dime from anyone to sponsor it.
That said, I decided that there are enough of you who are knew, and who know nothing of an almost two year long column at GunsAmerica Digest called Prepping 101, that I would begin to do livestreams on Youtube that pretty much sum up the things I have discovered. So if you want these live, and you want to actually have a discussion during them through the chat system, please subscribe to our Youtube and click the notification bell. Even though we have nearly 90,000 Youtube subscribers, we don’t come up in most feeds because Youtube has turned monetization on and off like they do with all of the gun channels.
In this first livestream I covered the options out there for long term storage survival food.
The tragedy of the survival and prepping market is that it is mostly bereft of morality. I started my prepping journey back in 2012 like most people. I bought “survival food.” The survival food companies, and I mean all of them, combine spices and powders with pasta and dried soy, and sell what they call meals for as little as 50 calories per dollar. Most are in the 100-200 calories per dollar, and that will generally include pure sugar drink mixes.
At some point I figured this out, and then sat down and calculated what the real cost of those same foods would be if you stored them yourself. There is no magic to food storage. An HDPE plastic bucket with oxygen absorbers is the same if you fill it and close it yourself as it is from these survival food companies. The same goes for Mylar bags, and even metal cans, all of which I have covered, and that I will do an update on here at some point.
The actual food cost of pasta is between 1,500 and 2,500 calories per dollar. For regular enriched white flour it is almost twice that, and oils, sugar and other staples are generally over 1,000 calories per dollar. Even canned Dinty Moore, Spam, and canned hams are generally over 500. All of these foods will last with no special packaging at all for many years, and with proper packaging and environment, I believe they will last indefinitely.
In the video, I cover all of these options from walmart.com. And I suggest that specifically because they allow you to buy a large quantity these days, and shipping is free. You can order 20 bags of 25lb flour in one order, with free shipping, delivered right to your door. Generally the orders do not come in great shape, and the organizational scheme is ridiculous. If you order 20 of something you may get one package with 14, one with 3, one with 2 and one with 1. But they do get there. And nobody but you knows that you have them.
What I cover first in the video even more compelling. It is food from the Mormons, otherwise known as LDS. And if you have more money than time, even a little more, I strongly suggest that you choose this option.
All but the powdered milk from LDS comes in a case of 6 number 10 cans. Those are the large restaurant sized steel cans, and they are nearly indestructible. The case is easy to carry, even the heavy ones, and you have to do zero work to package them correctly. The powdered milk comes in Mylar bags, in also a very heavy cardboard box.
The reason I suggest it is that packaging food is much more time consuming than you would expect. Plus if you are doing flour, rice, beans, milk, etc., it makes a mess, because you are always going to have that 50lb bag or two that get away from you as you are pouring. I have also noted that I don’t think my HDPE buckets are completely sealed, and with Mylar bags, they rip. Mice can also eat through any type of plastic, and they will.
Filling and sealing your own number 10 cans is a whole ordeal unto itself. The hand crank sealer from Ives Way is not really available anymore, though I did find one for a prior article in this column, but I did find an electric machine in China than can be ordered (pre-tarrifs) for about $1,200. Then the number 10 cans themselves are about four bucks each when you buy them in the hundreds, so it will be a while before your investment pays for itself. Plus you would have to buy the boxes if you want to carry and stack them properly.
The LDS food works out to over 1,000 calories per dollar on all of the hardcore prepper food, like flour, wheatberries, rice, beans, and pasta. In many cases you can buy the raw food at only slightly cheaper than the LDS food for the same amount, but from LDS is comes sealed in number 10 cans, with oxygen absorbers, delivered to your door.
There are no catches either. As I explained in my original article on this subject, the LDS does not come recruiting, and when you set up and account with them it does specifically ask you if you are a member of the church. I have never had any contact whatsoever, other than order updates. Now, I can say that a recent order I did with them had some boxes with a 2015 fill date, and maybe that is because I am not an insider, but it also could be that nobody has been buying survival food since November of 2016.
It was kind of creepy that during the livestream, LDS’s website, or just the store portion of it actually, went down. Right after the livestream ended it came back up, and I’ve checked many tin
At the end of the video I briefly cover Honeyville, mostly because they are the only source I know to get large quantities of powdered eggs. Honeyville does sell regular survival food too, and like everyone else there is almost no meat in their meat etc., but eggs might be a good investment if you are storing a lot of food and want some diversity as to what you can cook.
The video and links to the resources are below. I will eventually cover canning and all the other topics I have tested in the past in overview format, but if you want to see the actual results, the articles and videos are under the Columns archive above. None of this stuff is complicated. You just have to do it.
LDS Online Store (Yes it is back up as of this writing)