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One of my new favorite blogs, Food Storage Made Easy, issued a challenge today for their readers to submit some new 72-hour kit ideas. Two of the types of kits they’re looking for are Healthy Options and Kid Friendly.

Got it. That fits us to a T!

The silver lining here is that it gave me the kick in the you-know-where that I needed to do some experiments I’ve been meaning to try.

72 Hour Kit contents for my 8-year-old and 1-year-old

I like the idea of using backpacks. Especially for kids. They are really not good at carrying things without whining every five feet unless it’s their favorite toy that they are actively playing with.

Their three days worth of water are in the cloth grocery bags on the right and left. I also include a favorite book to read, a small toy, a coloring book and crayons, an emergency whistle, a toothbrush, and a small bag of baby wipes. Also in the bags will be a metal fork and knife. I like the idea of being able to keep them and reuse them for other meals. Also, stirring hot food with a plastic spoon is just gross. Each backpack will also have a metal camping mug for drinking and eating. The emergency stoves, can openers, matches or lighters, and fuel tablets will be in the grown-ups’ backpacks.

And don’t forget vitamins! We have a few bottles of Berry Garden Gummies in our food storage for the kids (we have multis for us grown-ups). Three days’ worth can easily be sealed in a Foodsaver bag.

We try to be as careful as possible about consuming foods that contain artificial additives, so everything here is about as healthy as possible for emergency food.

toddler backpack

big kid backpack

Caroline’s backpack contains much of the same food that her brother and sister would have, with a few exceptions.

Breakfast:

  • 3 packets of instant oatmeal (none of those colored frankenmeal ones – just maple, cinnamon, or organic varieties)
  • 1 sealed foodsaver bag of 3 days’ worth of dehydrated apple chips (with an oxygen absorber to extend shelf life)

Lunch:

  • 1 can of Bush’s baked beans, 8 oz. pop top (This is used as a cooking vessel to heat other foods – wash and save this can after use.)
  • (toddler backpack) 3 pouches of “squeezy fruit” baby food (Plum Organics, Ella’s Kitchen, or Happy Baby – found online, Target, or Babies/Toys R Us)
  • (big kid backpack) 3 pouches of big kid squeezable applesauce
  • 1 can of chunk light tuna in water (This fish contains much less mercury than the white or albacore.
  • 2-3 foil packets of mayonnaise and relish (to make an impromptu tuna salad)
  • 1 can of Shelton’s Chili (Delicious and additive-free! Two kids can share a can.)

Snacks:

  • 3 Cascadian Farms kid size peanut butter chocolate chip granola bars
  • 1 small resealable bag of dried fruit or 3 large raisin boxes
  • Yummy Earth lollipops and/or a small bag of Surf Sweets gummies
  • 3 small lunchbox size packs of crackers such as Late July
  • 1 wheel of Laughing Cow cheese wedges (8 wedges – the kids can share these. They do not require refrigeration.)

Hydration:

  • 3 2-liters of reverse osmosis filtered water, each with a small rock of Himalayan pink salt added in order to re-mineralize the water.
  • 1 bottle of Honest Tea (save it! This is good for further water storage.)
  • 2 packets of Crystal Light Pure (sweetened with stevia and sugar, all natural flavors and colors)
  • 1 packet of Emergen-C

Note: It is not recommended that water be stored in cars. The heat that builds up in parked cars can cause the plastic to leach into the water. Gross does not even begin to describe it. If you’re concerned about not having water in your car in an emergency, consider adding empty Katadyn bottles, purification tablets (I LOVE that store, btw – campingsurvival.com), and/or a SteriPen UV purifier to your kits.

Dinner:

  • 3 Foodsaver packets (with oxygen absorbers) of Ronzoni Quick Cook macaroni style pasta with dehydrated tomato sauce powder and dehydrated peas (or other veggie)
  • 1 can of chicken (This can be divided amongst the kids and added to their pasta.)

This is where my experiment comes in. One of my pet peeves is the ridiculous abuse of MSG by the food manufacturing industry. It is darn near impossible to find processed foods that don’t contain some form of it. I try to keep this at an absolute minimum in our diet, and only in the form of occasional yeast extract way at the bottom of the ingredient list.

My experiment involved finely pureeing a can of Muir Glen split pea soup and a jar of Classico pasta sauce and attempting to dehydrate them at home. The dehydrated soup and sauce would be further pulverized into a powder in my Ninja blender. I would then make a blend of the soup and some mashed potato flakes and seal it into individual servings in Foodsaver bags with oxygen absorbers. The tomato sauce would go into individual serving packets with some dehydrated peas and Quick Serve pasta, also with oxygen absorbers.

peas - frozen! straight from the bag

pasta sauce

split pea soup

I’ll keep you posted about how my experiment turns out and will post more about the further adventures of our 72-hour backpacks as they unfold. Stay tuned! 😉

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muskmelon

tomatoes

winter squash

buttercrunch lettuce

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soaring cost of cheap fuel (oil) = soaring cost of food production = soaring cost of food

A few months ago, just out of curiosity, Adam and I watched the documentary “Collapse” featuring Michael Ruppert. We were so deeply shocked, disturbed,  and amazed by the revelations about the coming economic collapse that we set out to debunk his claims.

We failed. Miserably.

The more we pay attention – and turn off American news broadcasting – the more we understand how close our world is to complete economic failure. Peak oil has arrived (or come and gone, depending on who you ask), food prices are skyrocketing because of it, and our country’s drunken economic stupor is on its last leg.

Don’t believe me? Do the research.

Hard to comprehend? Just think about it… Cheap oil (meaning that which can be harvested and refined at a profit) is dwindling. Oil is the foundation for our industrialized world. It’s in everything: plastic, food additives, cleaning products, body care products, medication, cars, houses, clothing, fuel, packaging…everything.

Oil is harvested using machines that use oil and have plastic parts. The oil is then shipped via vessels that run on oil to a refinery that refines the oil using machines that use oil and are made with plastic parts, and then store it in barrels made from oil. The different refined states of the oil are then shipped via vehicles that run on and are lubricated by oil and have parts made of plastic to their destinations where they will be further refined into other products….

See where this is going?

Our oil demand continues to rise, but the supply of cheap oil is dwindling. It should be obvious by this point that this situation is not going to end well.

these ten basic food items cost just shy of $25

If you look deeper than the surface political sheen that American news puts on the African and Middle Eastern revolts, you’ll find that the deeper problem is food prices. Simply put…people are starving. The shit has hit their fans, and it’s only a matter of time before it spreads across the ocean. The United States are not immune to this.

So, now that I’ve ruined your evening (just like watching “Collapse” did for us – you’re welcome), I’m going to share with you some of the plans we’re working on to ensure that our family handles any possible outcome with success.

For about a month and a half or so, we’ve been working on creating non-perishable food storage to last for at least three months for our family. When I started, I had no idea how challenging that goal would be! Did you know that the average family generally keeps only three days worth of food in their homes? Crazy, huh?

My goal for our food storage is to provide three meals a day with a healthy nutritional balance. I also feel that it’s important to have morale boosters included – yummy treats like pancakes, pudding, and chocolate. =09

three boxes full to capacity - not even enough for a month

The meal plan (laid out in this spreadsheet – EMERGENCY FOOD LIST XLS – I hope you find it useful!) For breakfast, I have a grain (oatmeal, pancakes, etc.), fruit (applesauce, canned fruit), and evaporated milk – sometimes with Carnation Instant Breakfast added. For lunch, I have rice, beans, and sometimes a soup and a meat (canned tuna or chicken, etc.). Dinner is pasta, sauce, and veggies. The occasional dessert will be chocolate pudding and, hopefully, some yummy brit Ambrosia or custard (canned) in the future. There’s also room on the spreadsheet for all the extras – snacks, baking supplies, vitamins, and water. Never forget to store water.

box #1 - about 70 pounds of rice, pasta sauce, Honest beverages (hey, it's water AND a morale booster), and other items

box #2 - lots and lots and lots of canned food with chocolate pudding stashed between

box #3 - mostly breakfast delights and squeezy fruit for Caroline

Can you believe all that food would barely get us through about 6 weeks or so (if we eat two meals a day)?

I hope I’ve given you some food for thought. Ooo…I can see you rolling your eyes at me now over that lovely pun. But in all seriousness, keep an eye out on the future by checking the global news reports. Some great jumping-off points can be found in my sidebar to the right. Transition US is a wonderful site, too – I just can’t seem to find a web button to use on their site.

Good luck, and I’m happy to help you with your planning if you need it. ❤

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Ours.

Those who know us well know of our interest in and awareness of current events and how they will affect the future of America. I’m certain that there are an equally substantial number of people who have remained our “Facebook friends” but have blocked us on their news feed because we induced eye-rolling with our passionate postings on the subjects of economy, oil, collapse, and transition. Perhaps others who think we’ve lost our minds. Nonetheless, we feel strongly about preparing for the worst and hoping for the best. In that vein, we are eagerly cultivating  a self-sustaining lifestyle, nursing it to life little by little.

The first step: Land.

We are putting our hearts and souls into ensuring our future will be rich, safe, and full of love. After months of dedicated self-education, we feel that the best way to do so is to create an environment where we can be self-sustaining. That place is a farm with enough acreage to support a large garden, poultry, and livestock. Fresh water. An ample population of game.

We were fortunate beyond reason to have found a ten acre wooded lot that backs up to a state park. It is, literally, a one mile walk from the southwest corner of our property to a lush, beautiful spring head. A well on our land will someday draw from that sweet spring water.

At the moment, we are taking baby steps towards our goal of living there. We don’t know how long it will take us to get there. So many things to do… clear the underbrush ($rent a bush hog), drill a well ($$hire a well driller), fence the property ($$$fencing, posts, and gates), put a mobile home on the lot ($$$$$requiring the seemingly impossible task of causing $10,000 and a co-buyer to materialize out of thin air), building a phenomenally brilliant combination garden/compost heap/chicken coop ($$$genius ideas are seldom free in their execution), acquiring livestock ($$$$), planting a garden ($$$), and many other necessary preparations.

Sometimes the task seems insurmountable, but we hope to someday see it come to fruition. Until then, we will continue to take baby steps.

 

Feet First.

Sandcastles.

 

Home Design.

 

Dirty Dancing.

The Muddy Mash.

Splashing Instruction.

Walking the Property.

Chasing Daddy Down the Road.

Marker to Marker...All Ours.

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