I grew up in a culture of emergency preparedness and self-reliance. In many areas members of my church are known for their year supply of wheat. I’ve recently become aware of groups of people who are preparedness hobbyists and devotees focusing on may areas of self-reliance and going by the name of “preppers” or known as “prepping”.
It’s always been a subject I was interested in, but I didn’t realize there was a thriving subculture, maybe even rivaling backyard homesteaders. (Although the two groups are highly interrelated–which is how I came across the term in the first place–on homesteading blogs. )
We recently rotated the supplies in our 72-hour kit–Basically a bag of supplies, that could sustain my family in emergencies, food being simple and needing no cooking. My favorite alternative name for this bag is a “Bug Out Bag.” This is the kind of bag you need for situations like the California wildfires where you are given five minutes notice by the fire dept. to evacuate you home to avoid danger.
I go with a really simple list of common food supplies meant to supply 2100 calories and essential nutrients per person.
72 hour kit food list:
Canned tuna fish or pork and beans(1/2 lb per person)
Nonfat dry milk (1/2 lb per person)
Graham Crackers (1 lb per person)
Dried Apricots (1 lb per person)
Canned orange or tomato juice (46 oz per person)
Peanut butter (1/2 lb per person)
1 Gallon of water per person per day (We threw in a container of Tang for the stale water factor, plus vitamin C.)
I swapped out some of the apricots for raisins because they were a lot cheaper, and I switched out half the graham cracker poundage for granola bars, because there’s only so many graham crackers I think I could handle in a 72-hour period.
This backpack holds all the food for our whole family (and it is heavy). The pack also holds a first-aid kit, candles and matches, diapers and wet wipes. There’s an endless number of things others might include for their own family needs. And our water is in a separate container.
Some other tips I’ve learned from rotating out supplies a number of times are that crunchy granola bars store for many months longer than chewy type granola bars. Also, canned juices store longer than the ones in plastic bottles.
I like sticking with this very simple list. Many people get pretty elaborate with meal-planning their 72-hour kits. We don’t really eat a lot of processed foods, so I don’t want to buy a bunch of processed meal-goods that I have to rotate out every four months. Also, a simpler list makes for way less hassle for rotating food. “Three new boxes of graham crackers” is a lot more simple than “a box of this, and a box of that, and a box. . .” I don’t know that we will ever use this bag of supplies in an emergency setting, but it does feel pretty good to know that it is sitting down in the basement. . . just in case.
Look at me–I’m a prepper, and I didn’t even know it.