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Daniel Dabbs


Long Term Food Storage Considerations

Mykel Hawke


TIME - What constitutes long term? 1 week? 1 Month? 1 Year? 1 decade?

I try to always be ready for at least 30 days for me and my family. What does that look like?

Think breakfast, lunch, dinner for you and your family, plus snacks, back up foods, extra for guests or relatives, consider pets and emergencies such as unexpected folks in need.


WATER - Also, consider the WATER you’ll need to see you through 30 days just for eating- not considering washing dishes, clothes and personal hygiene.

FROZEN foods are great, but what if the power goes out?

Generators may solve that for a while but what about when gas runs out?

Solar may serve but what if foul weather or nuclear winter hits and stops solar?

SMOKED are a fave of mine but they won’t see you through the longest periods.

Smoked products can spoil, and even salt or sugar cured can go bad if not stored in optimal conditions. So, it is best to have these as part of your plan but not the primary.

CANNED FOODS tend to be some of the best for long term survival as they have MOISTURE already inside, for when water is scarce.

They usually require tools to open, but store well, are durable and last a long time, sometimes a decade or more.

DRIED FOODS are also one of the best, safest bets. There are plenty of good products on the market. They are rated to last around a decade if their packaging is not damaged and they are very nutritious and even quite tasty these days.

The upside of DRY foods is they are light weight. The down side is, they dehydrate. Without water, they are not a great option and can in fact, be dangerous to eat for the hungry who lacks water.

Hunting, Trapping, Fishing, Gathering and Farming are all fine plans if the environment is conducive to these activities. The political climate could turn ugly and your terrain becomes a war zone where these activities may be precluded or become lethal to attempt. In the case of some nuclear event, they may be downright unhealthy. But it is good to have plans to be able to incorporate these into your decade plan, but not to rely solely on these, either.

Some people may just rely on raiding, but this is a wrong approach for many reasons-first and foremost, it is unethical and will lead to retaliation and complete break down for everyone, we should work together not against. Secondly, you have zero control depending on the planning and logistics of another. So, it is a fools game from start to end.

I have some simple rules for my long term food planning strategies:

Keep 24 hours of food and water on me. (I have beef jerky, power bar, water and tablets/filter)

Keep 72 Hours of food in my pack for me and my family.

Keep 7 day supply in Car, Plane, Boat for everyone in your family.

Keep 30 Day supply in house for entire family.

Have a 1 year plan- to include the not only smoked, preserved and frozen but also a strong cache of dried and canned food with considerations for water sources for first year.

Have a 10 year plan- this includes all the old skills of hunting, farming and where to get water sources from rain catches to wells.

SEEDS - A special consideration here for seeds.

These can be short term, in less than a year for some crops grow well, fast and easily.

Others require a great deal of knowledge regarding soil, depth to plant, sun, water, depth to plant, space apart, and many other factors that make farming a science. So consider these factors regarding any seeds that you choose to include in your survival plan.


SCIENCE- Many modern seeds have been genetically modified over the years to maximize results, be it accelerated growth and/or yield to variations in looks and taste. OFTEN THESE NEED SPECIAL CARE and may not grow under natural conditions or harsh conditions that might occur in an apocalyptic survival scenario.

So consider those factors of fertilizers and such, for growth and if these will be tended as aquaponics or will they be true survival farms.

I recommend planting gardens now, and trees, that will yield edibles and medicinals for years.

Plant trees that may take a decade to fruit, but have your land filled with them. In Europe, they we called VICTORY GARDENS. Make all your yard a garden and make all your local open land a place to plant back up edibles, nut and fruit trees take time but can save lives in hard times.

Also, consider HEIRLOOM seeds for a true survival garden. These are seeds that plants yielded that we not in any way enhanced by science. They are all natural and in that way, they have the greatest chance of surviving and growing in hard times as that’s how they grew, no fertilizers or chemicals, just nature’s way of spreading, pollenating, germinating and growing.

TACTICS - this comes down to situations where there may be dangers such as roving bandits, zombies, tyrannical militants- pick your preference, but basically, it’s not safe to have an open and obvious garden or it will get confiscated, commandeered and simply raided and forces you to take an action to defend it, which comes with it’s own new set of problems.

So, I recommend having back up gardens, caches of wild edibles growing everywhere you can and have a plan for rotating edibles so that you have crops yielding in each season, all year around, such as tubers that can be harvested in the dead of winter. Food for thought.

The key to being prepared is planning and the key to planning is timeline and wide scope.

Consider all your family and extended family/friend networks. Prepare like this and you’ll be as well prepared as you can ever be.

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