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5 easy steps to building the ultimate survival food kit

Having something like a survival food kit meant being called a “prepper” as if that were somehow a bad thing. Preppers used to be laughed at and labeled “conspiracy theorists” for believing they were preparing themselves and their families for any impending hiccups life might throw their way. But since the pandemic, hackers shutting down gas pipelines and meat plants, rising food costs, weather disasters, and threats of war, people are starting to think maybe they too should at least have a survival food kit ready.

Getting started with creating a survival food kit can seem overwhelming at first for many. What foods should be added to the kit for best nutrition? How long does the food keep? How should I store the kit after I set it up? These are just some of the questions you might be asking yourself and the reason is that you are used to buying only what you like to eat on each visit and only as much as you can for the next week or so need The grocery store. Building a survival food kit doesn’t have to be overly complicated if you follow the process step by step.

Step 1 – Decide on the purpose of your survival food kit.

You need to ask yourself a few questions to primarily determine the primary use of your food kit. Do you make the food pack for emergencies or conditions that tie you to your home, or for situations where you need to grab the food pack, hop in your car and drive? Will the kit be designed to stay in the car for emergencies while you’re in the vehicle? Do you want the kit to feed you and your family for just a few days, or for weeks or even months?

Step 2 – Determine the storage location for your survival food kit.

Once you’ve decided the purpose of your grocery pack, you need to determine the location in your home or car where you want to store your groceries. You need to consider your intended food stash size, which is directly related to how long the groceries can sustain you and your family, as this limits your storage space options. Obviously your car has limited space so a 6 month supply of groceries probably won’t fit well and having that large amount of groceries in your car probably isn’t necessary anyway.

The storage location for your survival food kit can greatly affect the shelf life or longevity of the food in your kit. You should store the food in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight to ensure your food stays edible for the longest time. Find a spot in your home that fits these criteria and make sure there is enough space for the amount of food or the overall size of your kit.

Step 3 – Gather or buy food for your survival food kit.

As a general guide, remember that you want to save food that you are already eating. There’s no point in saving a few cans of tuna if you and your family don’t even enjoy eating it. Even if you have the extra funds to buy long-term freeze-dried shelf-stable foods, you should choose the types of foods that you and your family are already eating in their “fresh” form. Stick to foods you enjoy, but try to add a balanced diet to your kit.

That being said, there are certain foods that just don’t store well. Foods high in fat or moisture generally do not store well. Dried pasta, (white) rice, flour, sugar and oatmeal all store quite well when kept in the right sealed containers and under the right environmental conditions. Canned foods usually store fairly well, but you may consider choosing things like dried beans over canned beans for a longer shelf life and lighter weight.

You can buy powdered alternatives for things like milk, eggs, butter, and even peanut butter. Powdered, dried foods are never exactly the same as their fresh counterparts, even when reconstituted, but they can still be pretty good in many recipes.

Step 4 – Repack food for longer storage if necessary.

Many foods can be repackaged to provide better shelf life. All your dry food stores well in a simple sealed container, but they can also be placed in Mylar bags along with oxygen absorbers and/or desiccant packs for moisture control. You can then vacuum seal the Mylar bags for maximum protection of the food in your kit. Many long-term freeze-dried shelf-stable foods that can be purchased are already packaged in a similar manner for the best longevity, so re-packaging is usually not necessary.

Step 5 – Eat and swap foods from your survival food kit.

One of the most important steps to your survival food kit is remembering to discard foods that are at or past their sell-by date and replace them with fresh supplies. The easiest way to do this is to simply eat foods from your kit from time to time and promptly replace them. For this reason, too, you should only stock foods in your kit that you and your family will want to eat.

Always eat the foods that are oldest in the kit first to ensure proper rotation. You might be tempted to pick a specific item from the kit based on what you’re “in the mood” for, but you should avoid this and choose the items that are closest to their end of life first.

As a bonus tip, you might want to add items like can openers, condiment or condiment packs, fire starting and cooking tools, etc. Also in your survival food kit for convenience, especially if your kit is grab-and-go type. Having these items right in your gear can save you time and make the experience of any disaster or situation that requires accessing your grocery gear less stressful.

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Amine

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