Many of us have put together Go Bags for when the SHTF occurs. A bag filled with survival essentials that we can grad and go with if we have to bug out and find safety during an emergency. This is a very good practice for anyone to have such a bag.
But do you have one in your car that is ready for you to use should you already bein your car when things go bad or if you are able to grab your car and go. Are the roads open? Are you able to get fuel? Then maybe bugging out in your car is the best option to find safety.
The video below shows one mans’ vehicle go bag set up. Check it out and see if this would work for your situation.
I’ve just discovered a fabulous new gardening book, “Groundbreaking Food Gardens: 73 Plans That Will Change the Way You Grow Your Garden” by Niki Jabbour. She and 72 other gardening experts lay out plans for different types of vegetable gardens. But it’s more than just… put the carrots here and put the tomatoes there… each garden is completely different depending on what type of growing space you have, and what types of things you want to grow.
The gardening experts are all well known in their field. Whether it’s urban farming or maximizing growing time in Alaska, all of them know their stuff. Each expert is given a section complete with a description of the garden, tips for maximizing success, a list of the best seeds and plants, and a layout to show where it all goes. You will find specialized garden plans for herb gardens, power food vegetable gardens, container gardens, and even gardens that incorporate chickens. And for the kids, there are kid friendly garden patches, and a wonderful garden plan to use at schools.
Some other gardens include-
Upcycled Edible Patio
Backyard Beekeeper’s Garden
Founding Father’s Garden
Beat the Grocery Bill Garden
Otto Pizza Garden
Modern Truck garden
Chicago Hot Dog Garden
And many more!
For the beginning gardener, you will find sections on gardening basics like soil mixtures and composting.
The book comes in paperback or as a Kindle edition. Since the illustrations are so charming, I prefer to have a copy of the book in my hands (the paperback edition, loaded with post-its, is on the coffee table in front of me now).
One thing I plan to do after reading through this lovely book is to add a few new garden plots to my existing vegetable garden. Along the edge of the yard there is a place to add a Paul Zammit’s Raised Bed Pollinator garden (complete with bee watering station).
It doesn’t matter if you live in the country, the city, or the suburbs… “Groundbreaking Food Gardens: 73 Plans That Will Change the Way You Grow Your Garden” by Niki Jabbour is certain to have the perfect garden plan for you.
Take a Look at some of Niki Jabbour’s other books Too!
Not all vegetables are created equal. The nutrition found in leafy greens far exceeds what you might find in your average cucumber. If you are planting a garden for maximum value with limited resources, it might be good to plant nutrient rich vegetables that will provide you with the most return/benefit. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t bother with other vegetables, planting a variety is healthy and makes your meals more interesting. But for the most the bang for your garden buck, plant these….
Leafy Greens- This includes Kale, Spinach and Swiss Chard
Loaded with folic acid, vitamin C, potassium and magnesium, these “super foods” are perfect to keep your body running. Studies have proven that they fight diabetes, and are essential for staving off many cancers. The Vitamin K makes them essential for bone health. Eat them raw, in a salad, or prepared as a soup or stir fry.
These Tubers contain all the nutrients we need to sustain life… and they taste really good. Potatoes are loaded with Vitamin C and Potassium, making them perfect to maintain heart health. Sweet Potatoes are also loaded with Postassium, as well as Vitamin A for skin, eye and heart health. Serve them baked, mashed or in a soup.
Tomatoes are another Nutrient Rich Vegetable high in antioxidants which are essential for clearing toxins from the body. They also have Lycopene, which studies prove is good for vision and heart health. And tomatoes are a great source of Vitamin K, to promote bone health. The versatile tomato can be eaten fresh, or made into sauces. And because they preserve well, in cans or dried, they make a great addition to the pantry as well as the garden.
Garlic/Onions Onions and garlic may not be the first vegetables you think of when it comes to nutrition, but these little underground marvels are loaded with alliin, an amino acid associated with antibiotic and antibacterial effects. They are great against heart disease, respiratory illnesses, and they can protect against stomach cancer (and vampires). Maybe you don’t want to eat garlic or onions straight, but they certainly add delicious flavor when prepared with many different foods, such as soups and stews.
Peppers- Red, Green, Orange and Yellow Bell Peppers are LOADED with Vitamin C and Vitamin A, which means they are full of antioxidants, as well as folic acid and fiber. This means the lowly bell pepper can help lower cholesterol levels to prevent heart disease and stroke, and can help prevent colon cancer. Also, peppers are versatile. They can be eaten raw or cooked, stuffed, or used as a flavor enhancer.
When planting a garden for maximum nutrition, consider your space wisely. Veggies like leafy greens, tomatoes, onions, pepper and potatoes not only come packed with nutrition, they taste good and they store well. Go out and plant some in your garden today! Also be sure to store some extra Non GMO Seeds for your essential survival garden, because you never know when the next emergency will come.
Keeping your Pantry Organized is incredibly important. The best designs will allow you to see at a glance what you have so you don’t keep buying what’s already there. There is a running joke in my family about tomato paste. Every week for a month, I would buy tomato paste. Why? Because when I bought it, I would put it away out of sight, and then forget I had it, so I would buy it again.
Of course, you also want to be able to rotate your foods easily, since canned goods do expire. A system that allows you to put the newer purchases in the back, so you can use the items in the front is best for this.
Setting up a pantry for all of your essentials, food, water, and emergency supplies like survival seeds does not have to be elaborate or expensive. Every home is different, and everyone has different space allocated to storage. It’s up to you to find what works best in your world. Here are a few simple ideas that you can use for inspiration
I stumbled across this photo a few days ago. This pantry was put together simply, using Closet Maid Close Mesh shelving that can be found at your local Home Store…. but the shelves were flipped upside down! Simple, easy to install, and the shelves can be moved up or down along the brackets as needed. Plus, they can easily be cut to size. Take out the front can, and the rest roll into place. The other shelves are strong enough to hold all of your other items.
If you are looking for small racks to slide into existing shelves, these can racks will slide right in to your pantry. They hold cans up to 15 oz., but that covers the basics beans, soups and tuna fish.
But my favorite is a DIY system created by RWCrone. He re purposed an old cabinet to make the perfect can rotating system. Looks like I have a great project for my HoneyDo list!!!
Can Rotation Shelves Video
Don’t let your prepper pantry get out of control. Keep things organized with a set of canned rotation shelves! The time and effort you spend will be returned to you in the for form of less waste, and less time spent searching for things you can’t find!
Beans are one of the most versatile, and healthy foods to have in your Prepper Pantry. They are loaded with nutrients, full of fiber, and a great source of protein. Beans can be eaten fresh, or dried for later use. Make them into soups or stews, eat them as a side dish, mash them into patties or even bake beans into bread. They taste delicious.
There are two main types of beans. Beans with edible pods, like Green Beans and Wax Beans, and beans where you only eat the seeds, like Black Beans or Great Northern beans. While it is more customary to eat the edible pod beans fresh, cooked in soups or as a side dish, they can be canned, freeze dried, dehydrated or frozen. Dried beans can also be dried and stored for years, or canned.
Whether you have cans of beans or dried beans, you can be assured that if they are stored properly, they can last for years. Dried beans, if stored in a dark, moisture free environment, officially last 8 to 10 years, but can most likely be stored indefinitely. A can of beans can easily be stored for 2 years, and if you keep them in a cool dark place, you can count on 5+ years.
Growing your own beans is easy. Since they have different growing habits, bush or vine, you just have to pick the right type for your space. Start them indoors or outdoors, and harvest all summer long. Adding Bean seeds to your prepper garden and your prepper pantry your can save your life.
For more information about growing beans organically check out this link How to Grow Beans
Stockpiling food and supplies for your family is the right thing to do. The question is, do you want to share with everyone you know? If people see that you have food, medicines and important tools to get through an emergency situation, where do you think they will head when trouble starts? Suddenly, you have acquaintances and strangers at your door demanding that you share.
It’s best not to advertise.
The problem is most of us have people in and around the home regularly, or at least occasionally. People notice things. The refrigerator delivery guy might see how much food you have stored in your pantry. Your kid’s friends who run in and out all day might just let their parents know about all that “cool stuff” you have. Instead of completely isolating yourself, be discreet about your stockpile.
A Secret Room might be the perfect solution.
In his book Secret Rooms Secret Compartments
Jerry Dzindzeleta shows you how to build secret rooms and secret compartments to act as hiding places “in plain sight”. These rooms can be as elaborate as a store room behind a bookcase door. Or they can be a large space under the stairs. All are easily accessible (for those who know they are there), and completely practical to use.
The book comes with explanations and illustrations to help you build your own rooms, including detailed instructions for hardware that you will need. Granted, you should probably have some carpentry skills to build these rooms, but as a Prepper or Homesteader, you need to have those anyway.
This is not a fancy book with glossy pictures, Jerry Dzindzeleta
self-published it with a comb binding. However, the knowledge it contains makes this book worth every penny. If you are at all interested in maintaining privacy, whether you want to safeguard your Preps or your other valuables, it might be time to start building a Secret Room.
Our world is addicted to electronics. A large Electro Magnetic Pulse (EMP) could disrupt life as we know it. From one minute to the next we would lose the ability to use phones, computers and even our cars. Fortunately, a Faraday cage, or Faraday bag, will protect essential electronics. Mainstream Media is now acknowledging that we are not prepared for an EMP strike.
What is an EMP?
An Electro Magnetic Pulse can be man-made (there are “non-lethal” bombs that are designed specifically to disrupt the electrical grid), or it can come from an intense solar flare. Should an EMP be detonated or affect your area, you won’t see it, and you won’t feel it, but any electronics that are not protected will be fried. From one second to the next, we are back in the Dark Ages. Batteries will be shorted, and rendered useless, your phone will make a lovely paperweight, a car with an electric ignition won’t start (all those Leaf drivers are going to be stuck), and anything you plug in will be dead in the water. There is a way to protect your most essential electronics.
Michael Faraday, a 19th century scientist, devised a way to control electricity… to shield objects from electromagnetic fields. By placing electronics inside of a grounded Faraday Cage, or strong Faraday Bag, you can save them. Think of a Faraday Bag or Cage as a Force field that surrounds electronics and keeps them safe.
What should you put into a Faraday Cage or Faraday Bag??
Many people want to protect their Cell Phones, unfortunately, although you can save your phone, it won’t work, since the towers will all be out. Instead, save a set of Two Way Radios, or a Ham Radio (obviously something this large should be protected with a cage). You can protect laptops, but it’s easier to protect thumb drives or external hard drives. If the power comes back up, you will be able to recover your information.
You can also use your Faraday Cage or Faraday Bag to shield your electronics from prying eyes. Currently, any GPS equipped Cell Phone or device can be tracked with as few as four data points. Even if the phone is turned off, external forces can be used to activate it. Scary. In fact, it is common practice in law enforcement to tuck confiscated phones and laptops into Faraday Bags to shield them from external manipulation. To keep your location and your information shielded, put your phone in a Faraday Bag. And the latest trick? Scanning your credit card while it is inside your wallet! Shield it with a Credit Card Holder
There are many sites online that will tell you that a car or microwaves make a great Faraday cage, or that a potato chip bag with a foil interior will keep your electronics safe. While a car will keep you from being electrocuted in a lightning storm, and the foil bag might shield your phone from low level electromagnetics, these are not enough to protect from EMPs. And really, who wants to store electronics in a microwave? Electronic devices have become a lifeline for communications in our world. Don’t let an EMP leave you isolated, add a Faraday Cage or Faraday Bag to your Prepper supply list.
Creating a stocked pantry means storing food in cans and jars, sealed packets and buckets. Creating a tight seal means keeping your food fresh and ready to go when you need it.
Without power, you have to use manual tools, but manual tools require strength. What if you don’t have the hand strength to use a can opener? What if opening a jar is too difficult? How can you pop the top on those cans or open those stubborn plastic seals?
If you are helping an elderly relative create a stockpile to “bug-in” during an emergency, don’t forget to add a few of these helpful gadgets to help them get in to the food containers! There are a number of gadgets that are battery operated (don’t forget to stock BATTERIES!), but there are also plenty of specially designed opening tools that anyone can use, even with limited hand strength.
Can Opener– Those little army can openers are fantastic for your bug out bag, but they are too small and fiddly for anyone with stiff hands to use. The Oxo Company is known for its ergonomically comfortable designs. The Oxo Good Grips Smooth Edge Can Opener has a big easy to turn wheel, soft rubber handles, and a smooth mechanism.
Even better, the opener cuts the lid from the side of the can, and then you pop the lid off. This means there are no sharp lid edges. Better yet, you can close the can up again if you don’t use all the contents!
Jar Opener– Opening a sealed jar can be frustrating for anyone, but it’s impossible if you have arthritis or difficulty gripping. The Hamilton Open Ease Automatic Jar Opener makes opening any jar a snap. This little tool does require batteries, but it works like a dream. Just set the handle on a jar, press start, and arms will grip the sides of the jar and the sides of the lid. POP! It’s open.
IF you are looking for a fully manual opener, try the Kuhn Rikon Gripper Opener. It has metal teeth that grip into the can lid. You do need to turn a handle, but it is large, and not too difficult.
Pop Top and Bottle Opener– The Extreme Magic Opener might have a funny name, but it gets the job DONE. This fun yellow tool will easily open pop bottles and cans, any pop top cans or even those slippery water bottles. Just set the handle on the lid and twist or pull. The pop top end slides under the tabs so they can easily be lifted away. This handy gadget is the perfect size to slip into a bag or glove box, and be sure to keep one in your kitchen.
Multi Tools-The Jokari 4 piece helping Hands set opens bottles and easily pops up those pesky pop tabs…. But it also has a tool to open pill bottles. Also included is a knife sharpener. Is it worth getting? I think it could be fine as a secondary set in a bug out bag. The parts are small, and they work well… but maybe not as well as some of the other products.
Having a stockpile of food is only half the battle. If you can’t open the cans or jars, your pantry might as well be empty. Make sure that the people in your life who have trouble with hand strength are prepared with these simple and efficient Kitchen devices.
The average Bug Out Bag can easily weigh in at 30-40 pounds. To someone young and strong, this is a walk in the park (for the first few miles anyway), but for the weak or the elderly, a fully loaded Bug Out Bag is just not going to work. For those who cannot carry as much weight, we’ve tested a few alternatives.
The ALPs OutdoorZ Little Bear Hunting Fanny Pack got high marks from our testers. This lightweight “Fanny” pack makes it easy for almost anyone to carry the bare minimum and still stay mobile. Weight is distributed evenly around the padded waist, and across the removable padded shoulder straps. You get the stability and security of a full pack, without the bulk.
Inside the main pocket you find enough space to tuck protein bars, dried fruit or other foods. Separate areas in the main pouch keep other essentials, like wipes, an emergency blanket, and extra socks/underwear. A flat zipped area is perfect to tuck a few photos and basic medical records. Side pockets can hold fire starters, a knife or extra medications. There is also a mesh pocket to keep a water bottle for hydration, and a front pocket to hold a map and compass.
Because this pack was designed for hunters who wear gloves, the zippers have long pulls, which makes them easy to use for anyone with arthritic fingers. There are clips on the front for attaching a light or whistle. Compression straps on the top make it easy to bundle a sweater or poncho for easy access.
All in all, this could be the perfect bug out solution for anyone who can still move, but can’t carry as much.
Another alternative for someone who can’t handle a load on their back, but who still has some strength is a Rolling Tote bag like the Snap On Rolling Tool Bag. What we liked about the Rolling Tool Bag is its sturdy fabric and ease of use. This bag won’t get torn or damaged easily, and it’s waterproof. Sure, it’s a little heavier than your standard shopping trolley, but this bag shouldn’t fall apart when you it the first bump on a dirt road. (I just wish it wasn’t BRIGHT RED).
The 18” bag is big enough to hold the basics without overloading. You can easily tuck in enough food and water for a few days, as well as a poncho or rain cover. Side pockets are great for tucking small essentials like fire starters, first aid, medications and maps. The rolling bag might not be our first choice, but as an alternative to carrying a pack, it will do the job. And if it gets to be too much for the person pulling it, someone else could lend a free hand.
When the time comes to Bug Out, not everyone will be able to pull the same amount of weight. Be realistic, and set things up so everyone can help as much as they are able.