Off-grid survival implies all the conditions that come from having no power grid, including the unavailability of supermarkets and convenience stores, which are the primary sources of most people’s food supplies, especially for urban dwellers. Farmer’s markets are great, but if you can’t buy gas for your vehicle to get to a farmer’s market and they’re too far to walk to, you’re left with two basic options, both of which must be prepared for: storing pre-made packaged foods, and growing or otherwise acquiring and then preserving your own. You should do both. This will give you the best of both worlds and the most nutrition for a given budget.
Start by making and keeping a log of what everyone in the household consumes on a periodic basis. You don’t have to name each person and list what they eat. That wouldn’t make for harmonious relations. Simply make note of what is consumed by the household and how much of it you need to have on hand to cover the duration of time you wish to prepare for, which should be three months at a minimum and ideally a year if not more. This can be done by taking inventory of the food supply right after stocking up and then again just before fully restocking several times to get a sense of quantities consumed over such amounts of time.
Keeping the log will be a real eye opener. You may be very surprised by what you learn. This will be a good opportunity to tailor your food choices to be more nutritious and less wasteful. Be bold in trying new things especially when they make sense in terms of nutrition, cost and space. If you’re accustomed to a gourmet menu, that’s fine and good for you, but it may prove wise to scale back some of the more lavish selections in favor of conserving cost and storage space, improving nutritional value, or all three. Discuss these considerations with household members.
You’re going to need adequate storage space for the duration you prepare for, and depending on that length of time, the space required for the food supply could be quite significant. The amount of space you can devote to food storage may well dictate how long you can prepare for, so think carefully about how you could increase available space. Think hard about decluttering by tossing, donating and selling items you do not need or use. If you already grow some or most of your food, you are probably ahead of the game, especially if you live in or can go to a warm enough climate with a long growing season.
In upcoming articles, we’ll be discussing different types of pre-made packaged foods, including canned, jarred and boxed goods and MREs (Meals Ready to Eat) as well as various methods of growing veggies indoors and outdoors, preserving fruits and vegetables, hunting, trapping and preserving fish and meats, storage methods and space requirements. We’ll also talk about nutrition and health. There will be guest articles by experts in these fields. And while we will discuss and source pre-made packaged foods as emergency supplies, the emphasis will be on producing and preserving your own food long term for true food-supply self-reliance.
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