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Help me pick some food

Discussion in 'Preparedness & Survival' started by edogg, Sep 28, 2012.

  1. edogg

    edogg Western Washington Active Member

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    I'm looking to create an emergency kit. Just something to get my wife and I through a bad storm or earthquake for a few days.

    I already have a couple of 72-hour kits that have some Mainstay food bars, water packets, and some other odds and ends like a small first aid kit, gloves, space blankets, and playing cards. But I'd like a little more since food bars would get really old really fast. I also keep a few flats of bottled water in the garage that I rotate through so they're always relatively fresh.

    So now I'm having some analysis paralysis and can't decide to order a bunch of Mountain House packets (or a couple of their 72 hour boxes) or something like MREs or Heater Meals.

    Can anyone help me get over the hump and pick something?

    Thanks!
     
  2. nwwoodsman

    nwwoodsman Vernonia Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer

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    I believe most of the Mountain House stuff needs to be rehydrated. With that you'll need water on hand also. Along with the long term foods we also keep canned fruits, Spam, sardines, canned tuna, crackers, and other stuff that doesn't need to be heated or rehydrated, which saves fuel and water
     
  3. slimer13

    slimer13 Deer Park Well-Known Member

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    If you are preparing for short-term emergencies "for a few days", then a well stocked (by well stocked I mean case quantity of multiple items) pantry/closet with your favorite canned foods that you already eat and a full freezer should do you just fine. MRE's and freeze dried stuff are what I would be reserving for just before eating the dogs. Some people like them but I dont see the need for short term.
     
  4. Sun195

    Sun195 Pugetropolis, WA Well-Known Member

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    I agree - for just a few days of power outage or storms, you should put away some extra stuff in your pantry that will be easy to heat (or not require heating) and that you already like. Just pick up an extra can or jar of X when you're at the store.

    Although not the most cost effective route, I think the new Mountain House buckets are an alternative to consider. If you've done any backpacking, chances are you've already eaten this stuff (and it isn't half-bad). It does require re-hydration, but you can use cold water to do this if hot water isn't available. You can do this in the pouch, so limited mess and no pan required to cook/mix it up. It's a nice mix of things to eat, covering some breakfast meals. I forget exactly, but I think the calorie count on these buckets would last two people for 3-4 days based on a 2000 calorie/day diet.

    And, it lasts 25+ years if stored properly. Previously, I think they listed shelf-life on these pouches anywhere from 3-7 years, but they've done some testing and concluded that they have a much longer shelf life. So, it's comparable to buying #10 cans (still, the king of shelf life, in my book).

    And, yes, you'll need to factor extra water into your preps to rehydrate this stuff, but having extra water is something you should be thinking about anyway.

    In my opinion, the advantage of having some long shelf-life foods stored is that if you ever forget to replenish your pantry, or stuff in there goes bad, you've always got this in backup. You can just buy it, shove it in a closet somewhere, and if the need arises, it'll be there for you. The pantry approach takes a little more active management and sometimes people forget to stay on top of it.

    Just my two bits - let us know what you decide.
     
  5. edogg

    edogg Western Washington Active Member

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    We keep our pantry somewhat stocked but aren't great about rotating it (we just threw a bunch of stuff away that had expired 2-3 years ago). What I'm really looking for is just something I can keep in the garage and almost forget about until that "uh oh" moment hits.

    I've eaten Mountain House stuff before and it's pretty good. One of my concerns was the need to rehydrate it and using up my water. Maybe I'll add another flat of water to my rotation to cover cooking needs and pick up a bucket or two (I see they have two varieties). I might pick up some of their flameless heating kits too - probably safer than storing a bunch of extra propane for my camp stove.

    Thanks for the suggestions, guys! I think those buckets and some extra water would probably fit the bill.
     
  6. John Gault

    John Gault clackamas county Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Epicenter has some of the Mountain House products on sale - 25% thru end of September (tomorrow) The Lasagna and meat sauce is most excellent.
     
  7. edogg

    edogg Western Washington Active Member

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    Thanks again for the help everyone. I wound up ordering the "Essential Assortment" Mountain House bucket since the meals sounded better to my wife than the "Classic Assortment".

    While I was at it, I also ordered a first aid kit, a water filter, and a toilet bucket along with bags and deoderizer.

    Now I feel set...I might pick up some canned stuff too.
     
  8. Sun195

    Sun195 Pugetropolis, WA Well-Known Member

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    Congrats - you're on your way to being prepped for whatever happens.
     
  9. knuckle Head

    knuckle Head southeast Well-Known Member

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    I too, would like to congradulate you on your start to preparing.

    But as someone who has had great jobs and has a good one right now, I know what it is like to be out of work and have run out of unemplyment, might I suggest that you and wife sit down and discuss building up your store for families needs to thirty days, 60 days and eventually 6 months.

    I used this method after I got back to work this time, as I got myself out of a hole I got into from being out of work, I know have a 2 year food supply for two people, some of the foods I admit would get mundane, but after having had zero and I mean zero food in m y house, no money.

    My suggestion to other foods is comfort foods, pasta, canned ham, freeze dired and dehydrated foods, soups, gravy mixes, seasoning mixes, pasta sauces, beans, rice etc, etc..

    Just kick the idea around, while you kick the idea around do not take my or anyone elses word for it, but do your own research on world event, jobs, food costs etc you will see our food prices are going up and our economy is slowing down.
     
    Sgt Nambu and (deleted member) like this.
  10. Misterbill

    Misterbill Yakima County, Washington New Member

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    Plenty of CLEAN water and lots of rice and beans. You can survive on nothing else. You might not like it, but you'll live.

    Bottom line for me is that the people I care about DON'T DIE.

    I can grow a lot of crops on mine and my sister's land from easily pump-able water and seed. I HAVE seed and pump-able water. everything else is so hard to really grasp and model that it becomes impossible to predict. For short term, it's easy. 30 days of food and water and you're golden. You can stockpile both without even a major financial effort.
     
  11. MissJ

    MissJ Clackamas County Active Member

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    Good choice. I was going to suggest Mt. House and some extra water, and some ethanol fuel cans (like Sterno).

    Mt. House will taste the best and store the longest based on your goals. Somebody mentioned that they last 25+ years...just a clarification that Mt. House packages their food in foil pouches AND in #10 cans. It is the #10 cans of Mt. House foods last 25+ years, the pouches don't last as long. The manufacturer says 5-7 years on the foil pouches (Still, that is a long long time!).

    Even so, most foods last LONG beyond manufacturer's best by date. That date is based on quality control and legal liability, not necessarily safety. The food may not be at 100% top quality past the expiration date, it may lose some texture and flavor and nutrition, but as long as the packaging is still sealed it should be SAFE to eat for years past the expiration date. Those pouches of Mt. House meals I would be completely confident eating at 10-12 years old.

    Also, another thing to consider for your pantry is canned meats. 5 oz cans of Tuna frequently go on sale for $0.50 a piece if you watch the grocery sales....then stock up! For example canned tuna has a printed expiration date of usually 5-7 years. The actual shelf life is much longer. They have found 100 year old cans of meat that upon laboratory analysis are still safe to eat and contain some nutritional value. Stay away from the "pop top" cans as the seal will generally not last as long as the traditional "can opener" type lid...

    I would also suggest you buy a few cheapie manual can openers....they can usually be had for around a buck a piece. Cheap now, priceless later.

    The ethanol fuel cans can be safely burned indoors without risk of carbon monoxide poisoning (these are those little flame cans that you see caterers use under platters). You can get generic brands of Sterno for much cheaper at places like the Portland Preparedness Center, or probably lots of other preparedness stores, probably even at restaurant supply stores.
     
  12. MissJ

    MissJ Clackamas County Active Member

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    Such a great post. Can't argue with any of that. I'm an analytical nerd so I've thought a lot about how long we could stay in our home if I lost my job. Based on our savings, preps, precious metals and the long foreclosure process I figure we could stay here almost 2 years with no additional income. Longer if we were able to scrape together some kind of income.... That is ONLY POSSIBLE because in that scenario we are not spending much money on groceries or utilities. 2 years will give a family a lot of time to get their butts in gear and come up with a viable plan B. 2 years should ensure that if you have anything going on between your ears your family will never end up homeless or hungry.

    Now that I've finally accomplished our food storage goal with basic, cheap items like rice, beans, sugar, salt wheat and corn I am planning to venture out into "comfort foods" namely pasta and sauce mixes. WE LOVE PASTA and it is relatively cheap and stores a long time. Easy to make, kids will usually eat it...the list of positives goes on and on.
     
  13. Sun195

    Sun195 Pugetropolis, WA Well-Known Member

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    Mountain House is now saying that their pouches will last 25+ years (with some loss of quality). Here's what they just sent me in response to my inquiry about their buckets:

    MHInfo.jpg
     
  14. MissJ

    MissJ Clackamas County Active Member

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    thanks for that link Sun195!! That's great news! I've long suspected the Mt. HOuse pouches would last a lot longer than the printed date on the package. My plan was to start rotating them into our camping/backpacking food and eating them up that way at about the 10 year mark...Now I can stretch that out to 20 years before I start rotating them in to be eaten....GOOD NEWS!

    ya learn something new every day!
     
  15. Sgt Nambu

    Sgt Nambu Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    +1 with MissJ, Sun195! Makes me really regret clumsily nicking that pouch when I opened the box. Darn! Big ham fisted Clydesdale! Oh well. I am going to write that new information on all my Mountain House products in indelible ink.
     
  16. Burt Gummer

    Burt Gummer Portland Completely Out of Ammo

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    I ate a freeze dried pouch of of Chicken Teriyaki that was 36 years old and it was great. 10 shmen, those damn things will outlive us all.
     
  17. pdx210

    pdx210 Clackamas Active Member

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    It does need re-hydrating but it is a quick easy meal and tastes decent.

    You touched on something many overlook, water don't forget to prep water an adult needs roughly a gallon a day it's more important than food 3-5 day without water and your toast!



    Human Water Requirement Calculator