Storing food for a survival situation is a key part of prepping. But going into it without a plan and without preparing is as good as not prepping at all. Here are five key things to keep in mind before you start stashing away your survival food stores.
1. Store What You Eat
The obvious first principle of survival food is to store the types of food you already eat. Storing sacks of rice when you’re more of a pasta eater is a recipe for having large amounts of food that you don’t want to eat or don’t know how to prepare. Obviously not everything you eat will be able to stored for the long term, but identify the staples that you consume on a regular basis and stack them deep.
2. Eat What You Store (i.e. Rotation, Rotation, Rotation)
No matter how well you store your food, you’ll need to periodically eat some of it before it goes bad. That’s why you need to store what you eat. Make sure you keep records of when you store your food so that you can consume it before its shelf life expires. A good FIFO (first in, first out) system will ensure that your stored food is always fresh. And once you consume your older stores, make sure that you buy some new food to replace it.
3. Find a Place For It (i.e. Location, Location, Location)
Survival food needs to be kept cool and dry, and protected against insects, rodents, and other pests. The last thing you want to happen is to open your barrel of rice and find that it’s half-empty because mice chewed a hole in the side facing a wall and had a feast. Under ideal storage conditions your survival food can even exceed its stated shelf life, ensuring that you’ll have food to eat for months or years to come.
4. Try Before You Buy
Before you go out buying 50-pound sacks of rice or cases of #10 cans of freeze-dried food, try some
smaller samples first. If you don’t like how a particular variety of beef stew, beef stroganoff, or scrambled egg breakfast tastes, try another variety until you settle on something you like. Only then should you start thinking about buying in bulk.
5. Label Everything
In all likelihood you’re going to be storing your food in opaque containers. Opening them up to see what’s inside is a bad idea, as it will introduce new oxygen and bacteria that can spoil the food inside. Once you’ve sealed things up, don’t open containers until you absolutely need them. Make sure that they are well labeled as to the contents. Having a spreadsheet or binder listing all your survival food stores can be helpful too, so that you have a quick resource at hand to figure out what you have on hand and what you still need to acquire.