Feb 27

Storing Oatmeal

Prepper Food Storage Ideas

Storing OatmealWho would have thought that there is so much information about Oatmeal? When we were kids, it just appeared at the breakfast table on cold mornings. I loved eating it with milk and brown sugar (I admit sometimes a little too much brown sugar). It turns out that Oatmeal is a healthy, reasonably inexpensive, product that can be stockpiled for years if stored properly.

How Long Can You Store Oatmeal?

If you are storing the Oatmeal in the original packaging, it should last….

-Instant Oatmeal Packets – 1-2 years

-Flavored Oatmeal Packets- 6-9 months

-Quick Oatmeal (1 minute or 5 minute) – 2-3 years

-Steel Cut Oats – 2-3 years

-Old Fashioned Oatmeal – 5-7 years or MORE

If you want to store your Oatmeal longer, you will need to take a few extra steps.

– Steel Cut Oats generally come in a sealed can. Because of there is a chance that the oils in the Oats become rancid, some people suggest that you store the can in the freezer.

HOWEVER, because the moisture in the freezer could affect the oatmeal, it would be good to drop the can in a plastic bag first.

– Old Fashioned or Rolled Oats have an incredible shelf life. The oat groat is steamed before it is sliced and rolled. This prevents the enzymes that cause the Oatmeal to go rancid from growing in the oats. Those nice cardboard tube boxes from the grocery store are nice (and the kids can use them to make drums or totem poles), but they won’t keep your Oatmeal safe for that long. To prevent bug infestation, and to keep your oats safe for a long time (I’ve heard rumors of 30 years), repackage the Rolled Oats in sealed plastic bags with silica packet, then store them in a cool dry place. Having multiple bags reduces the chances of all of your Oats being affected if you get a bug infestation.

– Quick Oatmeal or Packet Oatmeal- Repackaging Quick Oatmeal into plastic bags with silica packets, and storing them in a cool dark place will extend its shelf life. Those little packets might last a while longer in a cool dark place, but remember, all those flavorings and additions will break down.

That being said, instant oatmeal packets are great for a go-bag. They are easy to prepare, and the flavor makes them go down easier without additions.


Storing Oatmeal

Why store oatmeal/recipes


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Feb 24

Mini Farming for Preppers

Mini Farming: Self-Sufficiency on 1/4 Acre
by Brett Markham

prepper famring

Self-Sufficiency, the ability to grow your own food, is an important aspect of a Prepper Lifestyle. Now, you may feel that you could just live on canned goods, or count on your stockpile to get you through hard times, but the truth is, your best source for fresh vegetables is your own yard. You don’t need to have acres of land to feed your family, mini-farming is effective, if you do it right.

Brett Markham’s book “Mini-Farming: Self-Sufficiency on ¼ Acre” is a fantastic resource for anyone who wants to grow their own vegetables, but is a little short on space. It’s not enough to dig a hole, and drop in a seed. Preparation of the soil is vitally important to small space gardening, and he described the process of composting, ph levels, how to double dig and how to build raised beds in great detail. (Remember, prior preparation prevents piss-poor performance!). With a mini-farm, you have to combine plantings, rotate crops and stagger harvests. Markham includes charts that help you do just that.

Mini-Farming” covers topics like starting seedlings, building a cold-frame, bed size, dealing with pests and harvesting. You also learn how and when to harvest your vegetables, and what to DO with them once you have them. Markham even suggests growing extras to sell for extra income.

Now, this book is not a one-size fits all…. more of a one size fits most. The section on raising animals is not as complete as it could be, but I imagine the book would be unwieldy if every last bit of information was included. Also, he touches on the basics of canning, preserving and drying your harvest. For more detailed information, and for a wider variety of recipes, I’d supplement with other books.

What makes this book special is how personal it is. Markham obviously devoted a great deal of time and energy to his garden, and kept multiple journals. He shares his successes, and lets us know which things didn’t work out as well. Lots of photos throughout make this book a joy to page through, and the high quality of the book make it nice enough to keep on your coffee table. You will find yourself referring to “Mini-Farming” over and over for years to come.


Get your copy today:

Mini Farming: Self-Sufficiency on 1/4 Acre – Paperback
Mini Farming: Self-Sufficiency on 1/4 Acre – Kindle

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Feb 21

Prepper Moms

soccer momI was thinking today about how similar Prepping is to being a Sports Mom. Think about it… my kids are soccer players, but I’ve heard similar experiences from the mothers of Hockey, Baseball and Basketball players. Of course, the supreme Prepper sports moms have swimmers (all day meets) or Volleyball players (all day tournaments). If you can handle those grueling days… prepping should be a snap.




Take a look at this-


Sports Moms

Prepper Moms

Sports bags are packed with all necessary equipment! Shin guards, water bottle, uniform, snack, shoes, tape, and towel.
EquipmentBug Out bags are packed with all necessary equipment! Food, Water, Clothing, tools,matches and first aid kit.
FeedingSports moms can feed a hungry crowd of 15 teens and their parents on a soccer field at a moment’s notice. FeedingPrepper Moms can feed their family of 4 for 6 months under emergency conditions at a moment’s notice.
Feeding (part2)Always has some sort of high energy snack food somewhere close by… either in her car or in her purse… for hungry kids. Feeding (part2)Always has some sort of high energy snack food somewhere close by… either in her car or in her bug out bag… for hungry people.
TransportationHas a vehicle that can carry several teens and their gear… as well as extra food… No way to spiked heels… ever try walking across a field in them? And you’d be kicked out of a gym for marring the floor. TransportationBig enough vehicle to bug out with family and gear…
OrienteeringFinding a field, gym, pool, in the middle of nowhere, hours from home, even in the dark is child’s play! OrienteeringHas no problems using a compass and a map, or GPS to find any location or meeting place.
Organization3 kids have to be on different fields in different cities at the same time? No problem. OrganizationGetting 3 kids from 3 different places in different cities to one safe location? No problem.

When the SHTF, we are leaving those prissy girls in spiked heels in our dust…I guess what I’m saying is…. don’t be daunted by the idea of prepping… if you have active kids,you probably already have the skill set. Take what you know, and adjust it to suit prepping needs.


Guest Author

kathyKathy Kenyon – Kathy Kenyon is a recently single mom who is just getting her feet wet in survival prepping. While she’s still a rookie, her insights about the Prepper mom/sports mom skill set are pretty spot on.

Kathy Kenyon is new to Emergency Preparedness and Self-Sufficiency. Like many of us, she took one look at all of the information…. and got completely overwhelmed. (In fact, I think she might have hidden under the bed for a few hours). Now she’s slowly getting on track, and keeping a public journal, so others can see that a suburban single mom CAN be ready for any emergency. Kathy is still unsure how far her journey will take her, but we are having fun watching and cheering her on.

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Feb 20

Prepper Pantry Preparedness

The Ultimate Pantry

Prepper Pantry PreparednessStoring food means different things to different people. Ultimately, the way we store our food, and what we choose to store, is based on who we are. If you are a hard core Prepper, you may have a Bunker Pantry loaded with foods that allow for long term survival without bringing in additional supplies: lots of dried foods and MREs. The one we see the most on Coupon Clipping shows is a Budget Pantry generated primarily on-sale or couponed items, and includes a lot of personal hygiene products and processed foods. Here at Back40, we are working to have a primarily Agrarian Pantry, which means we grow as much of our own foods as we can, and stockpile things we can’t. In her article “12 Strategies to Build the Ultimate Pantry”, Prepper Mom Daisy Luther describes these three basic types of food stockpiles in great detail, and goes over the benefits …and the negatives…. of each. Then she gives fantastic tips that combine all of the ideologies to create the Ultimate Pantry.

Because don’t we all want “the ULTIMATE Pantry”? Read more about that. Plus a sample of the guide below.

In every relationship there comes a time when you have to sit down and take a serious look at the future.  Where do you want to go?  Are your goals compatible?  Are things working as they stand right now or do some changes need to be made?

Your pantry is no different.  People create food storage stockpiles for many different reasons, and because of this, there is no “one-size-fits-all” formula for doing so. You must figure out what your goals are and develop a road map towards achieving them.


Prepper Pantry Preparedness

Give us your thoughts on what the pantry in your home should look like in order to be prepared to secure your family in case of disaster? What do you do as a prepper.

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Feb 19

Prepper Garden – Build A Vertical Garden In Small Space

Building a Prepper Garden in the Space You Have Now

Are you dealing with tight space, but you still want to plant a survival garden? Maybe you live in an apartment with a patio, or a home with a small yard. Consider installing a vertical garden. Vertical Gardens take very little space, add beauty to the yard or home, are fairly easy to maintain, and with some planning, can provide you with vegetables year round.

A vertical vegetable garden planted in specially designed frames, can more than double the amount of plants and veggies that you would normally be able to fit in a given space. When it’s time to plant food in your outdoor space, go vertical!

What Does It Take To Get Started with a Vertical Garden?

What Key Things Do You Need?

A Vertical Garden takes less space than a standard garden, but it does require a few key things.

What are you planting? ~Think about what you want from your vertical garden. What sort of veggies? How much space do they need? Are they climbers or spreaders?

A Location~  Sounds silly? Well…where do you plan to put your Vertical Garden? Inside? Outside? On the Patio? On the Back Wall? Outside the Kitchen Door? You need to know where you want it to be, so you get an idea of the scope of your project.
And you need to make sure you have….

Sunlight~ Chose a south facing (or mostly south facing) wall to catch the most sunlight possible (north facing just won’t get enough light)  A cold frame or greenhouse could extend your growing time.

A Frame~ A number of companies build and sell the frameworks for vertical gardening. I’ve also included some “DIY” links so you can make your own. Think about what you can do, and how handy you are.

Water or Irrigation~ Many pre-made frames come with a built in irrigation system, some even recycle the water that collects at the bottom, which makes them incredibly self-sufficient, and rather “green”. Other systems need to be watered, but they do have a reservoir so water is not wasted. If you are making a construction out of milk jugs or gutters, you will have to work out a system to water your plants. Easy is better, if watering is a hassle, you will fall out of love with your project.

Plants~ So many plants can be grown in a Vertical Garden. While you can start from seed, it may be more satisfying to start from seedlings. Vegetables will grow well in a vertical garden, just think about the space… carrots and potatoes might not be your best bet for higher up, but tomatoes and cucumbers work well, as do strawberries and herbs. You can plant the carrots in the trough at the bottom…

prepper gardenThis Gronomics Vertical Garden set is compact for small spaces. I love that it comes with its own built in irrigation system, and has a reservoir to collect the water so it doesn’t drip all over the floor. You can use it to plant herbs and veggies, as well as flowers.

Woolly Pockets can work indoors and outdoors, which makes them an incredibly versatile planting system. You can attach them to walls, fences or create a structure out of metal poles and wire. Each pocket is made out of recycled plastic bottles, and is designed to use water carefully. The Pocket is mesh, which allows oxygen to reach the roots, making them stronger and healthier. There is a reservoir to keep water from spilling out or being wasted. You can even use a drip irrigation system on a timer if you have a larger installation of Woolly Pockets, or if you travel. Since the pockets are off of the ground, they are less susceptible to bugs and slugs.





Make your own Woolly Pockets – http://www.instructables.com/id/hanging-plant-pocket/vertical prepper garden

Or just use shoe pockets for an inexpensive and easy pocket garden http://www.instructables.com/id/VERTICAL-VEGETABLES-quotGrow-upquot-in-a-smal/

A framed net system works as a trellis for your vining veggies like Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Peas, Beans and Gourds.. You plant the seeds or seedlings into the trough at the bottom, and the vines climb up a net that is supported by a wooden frame. It takes up only 4 feet of floor space, but can hold the veggies that would grow in a 24 square foot plot!

vertical planter for gardeningAnother method is to create a tube planter out of a framed sack. This method could work well for potatoes (which are also easy to grow in an old trashcan)

Being self-sufficient does not mean you have to have acres of land. Whatever method of Vertical Gardening you choose for your prepper garden, your plant yields will be high enough to supply you with enough fresh vegetables to supplement your food stores.


Prepper Garden Plans











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Feb 04

Camping Supplies – Prepper Gear As Well

Are you looking for a good list of resources for camping supplies that can be used as essential prepper gear in case of an emergency or disaster situation? The following list is a great start on finding that gear which will make you more secure should such a scenario occur in your area,

Headline for Camping Supplies
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Camping Supplies

Planning a family Camping Trip? Do you have everything?

Feb 04, 2014 - wizzley.com - 20
Camping Checklist

by MaggiePowell When packing up for a camping trip, it's best to follow a camping checklist. This way you know you will have all of the right camping supplies and camping gear along. When my family goes camping, it's my job to make sure that all of the camping supplies and camping gear are packed into the car.

Feb 04, 2014 - wizzley.com - 16
Camp Cooking with a Portable Outdoor Camping Oven

Baking at a Campsite- This is the most obvious use for a portable camping oven... biscuits, muffins, cornbread and cookies. It's easy to prepare mixes to take along so you can have fresh baked goods in the wild.

Feb 04, 2014 by Back40 HQ - squidoo.com - 20
Have Duct Tape Will Travel

Give me a roll of Duct tape, and I will repair the world! Seriously, Duct tape is the sticky stuff that holds life together. whether it's tear on a backpack, a ripped seam on a sleeping bag, a poster for a bake sale that needs hanging, or (and this wa...

Feb 04, 2014 by Back40 HQ - squidoo.com - 16
Little Sun Solar Light - Lighting The World

The more I learn about this simple but powerful little solar light, the more excited I am about it too. This fantastic little solar lamp is part of a global movement to light up dark corners of the world. One small lamp lights a room for hours.

Feb 04, 2014 by Back40 HQ - wizzley.com - 14
Cooking Grill

by MaggiePowell Cooking over a camp fire is much easier if you have a grill over your campfire. These portable grills are a great addition to your camping checklist. When it's time to cook over a campfire, I prefer to use my own portable camping grill.

Feb 06, 2014 - wizzley.com - 19
Toasted Marshmallows the Easy Way with Marshmallow Roasting Sticks

Toasting Marshmallows over an open fire is practically a childhood requirement, and it's definitely a must-make dessert for any camping trip. Think about it Sticky Sugar, Food on a Stick AND you get to play with FIRE! But... alas...

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Feb 04

Prepper Essentials

Do you have the basics you would need to be fully prepared for any disaster that should arise? This includes natural disasters that can befall any of us anywhere in the world, as well as disasters caused by mankind. Check out this video and see if you are prepared. Comment below if you have items that are not talked about in the video that you think all of us should have on hand for us preppers.

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Feb 03

Welcome to Back40


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