You can live 3 minutes without air, 3 hours without warmth and shelter, three days without water, and three weeks without food. Since we dealt with water, fire and shelter previously, days 14-19 were devoted to food.
As I have mentioned many times before EVERY HOUSEHOLD SHOULD HAVE AT LEAST 3 DAYS WORTH OF FOOD AND WATER STORED FOR EACH FAMILY MEMBER!!! PERIOD!!! And really there is NO EXCUSE not to have 7 days worth of food and water on hand for your family. I go back to Hurricane Sandy, as it was the most recent example, help was scarce resources stretched extremely thin; assistance and supplies were not to be had. You should start by purchasing at least a case of water for each family member. For the short term keep meal options simple, stock items that do not need to be heated or refrigerated and that do not require a can opener, such as:
- Peanut Butter
- Dry Cereal
- Nuts and Seeds
- Dried fruit
- Granola bars
- Powdered Milk
- Powdered Drink Mix
The above items will provide nutrition and variety for several days and will take up very little space. You can store all of these in the back of your pantry or in the top of your closet and/or in your Bug Out Bag/72 Hour pack; distribute larger quantities to each member by repackaging in zip lock bags.
- Extended power outage (local, regional, national)
- Trucking/transportation system breakdown
- Regional disaster (hurricane, earthquake, flood, etc.)
- National incident (war, terrorism, pandemic, etc)
- Economic collapse and resulting social chaos
- Food shortages caused by large scale crop failures, drought
This list helped them, and can help you, to understand why a 3 day supply of food and water probably isn't really sufficient; it assisted them, and may well assist you, in comprehending why a 30 day supply is only a mere start to food storage. The task is no longer daunting to us, though the rising cost of food (which is one reason to stock up now) often causes us to tighten our belts as we purchase long term food supplies but those just getting started may feel overwhelmed by the task. Remember, it IS essential to get started but starting small makes the chore more manageable. Also remember, keep things simple; buy what you WILL eat and have a list so as to avoid impulse buying. Below are several links to get you started on an emergency food supply.
The very first and most important thing to note here, some thing I stress to my son's ALL the time is... unless you have devoted a great deal of time to studying the issue previously and you know that you know that you know what you are collecting DO NOT EAT FORAGED PLANTS!!! While there is vegetation all around us and much of it IS indeed edible a large portion of it IS NOT!!! Complicating the matter, is the fact that numerous edible plants have poisonous counterparts; planets that look very similar but rather than sustaining life will end it.
Wild Edible Plant Foraging Hazards and Tips
We own Edible Wild Plants (Peterson Field Guides) which has great side by side pictures of edible wild plants and their poisonous look-alikes; most are too similar in appearance for the novice or the intermediate forager to differentiate.
For a bit more information on the matter check out this link Edible and Poisonous Plants.
That said, ALL fur bearing animals and MOST fresh water fish and MOST foul can be consumed. While it may be a bit more challenging for the more citified folk to bag an animal than to pick a plant, it behooves everyone to know how to obtain fish and/or game in the wilderness; the alternatives are insects or starvation.
That said, several resources mentioned/suggested, adding a rat trap to your bug out bag; this small, convenient, ready made device, takes up little room but may be handy with catching small game. HERE is a video on how to use a rat trap as a survival trap. Below are several links regarding trapping and other food procurement techniques.
Tangle, Dangle, Strangle and Mangle:
How To Build A Trap: 15 Best Survival Traps
On the 16th we revisited animal track identification. To ensure your best use of time and effort in setting traps (also in hunting) it helps to be able to identify the types of animals that are in your area.
We had a refresher lesson on field dressing (cleaning and butchering game) on day 17; again, my guys do this often so they are pretty well versed in the techniques. We do research other methods from time to time to see if anyone has tips for quicker easier ways to get the job done.
Below are several videos of field dressing techniques for various animals.
***WARNING!!! The content of the videos is graphic so view at your own risk.
Mr. D. likes the Alcohol Groove Stove.
You could also construct a solar oven or use or make a reflector oven. Aluminum Foil Packet Cooking is an easy way to learn to cook without basic amenities.
Byron's Dutch Oven Cooking Page is a good resource to get folks started using the dutch oven as a primary cooking tool.
An interesting cooking technique we once tried is Hay Box, Thermal or Insulated Cooking. This is a way to conserve fuel and/or to keep things cool in your dwelling. Though there are numerous variations the main gist is as follows: you bring a pot of food just to boiling, cover it and place it in an insulated container, cover that container and allow the pot to sit for several hours; the insulation will continuing to maintain the food's heat, thus thoroughly cooking the meal. As to containers you could use a hay box, wood box, basket, cooler (plastic or Styrofoam), a plastic tube, etc. lined with straw, fabric (blanket, towel, clothing), shredded or crumpled paper, etc. If you like to sew you can make an insulator bag such as THIS.
But again, while the above is great for planned wilderness excursions and even at your primary residence in a long term emergency situation none of them are really practical in a real wilderness survival situation. So what are your options in the wilderness? There are several primitive methods that can be used requiring little to no equipment, these include:
- Coal or Ash cooking
- Plank Cooking
- Hot Rock cooking
- Flat stone cooking
- Spit cooking or spit roast
- Clay cooking
Below are several links to information on many of these types of cooking methods.
Food Preservation Techniques
Preserving Meat Without Refrigeration
Once again, some of these are good techniques to be practiced at your primary residence but obviously you are not going to carry canning equipment into the wilderness so others of these practices can be crucial to your survival should you have to remain in the wilderness for an extended period of time.
As a bonus I am linking to THIS article which deals with a diet that is predominately comprised of meat; according to the research herein and contrary to modern thought it appears that folks can live quite healthy, productive lives consuming large quantities of meat and fat and very little else. Food for thought.
and whoever believes in me shall never thirst". John 6:35