Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Survival BTS: What I Did Yesterday

By Tim Gamble

In addition to discussing what people should do (theory) to prepare for the future, I think it is important to occasionally discuss what I actually do (practical) to put the theory into practice in my life. Hopefully, this will give you ideas about how you put preparedness and survival theory into actual practice in your life. In today's article, I want to give you a behind the scenes look at what I did yesterday.

Shopping

Yesterday early morning I went to Walmart and my local Ingles supermarket. It was just a normal shopping trip where I picked up my usual groceries, rather than a "stocking up" trip.

I did notice that Walmart had in stock cans of Turkey Spam (both stores have been out of the Turkey Spam for a couple of weeks). Since this is one of my main meats to stock up on for long-term storage, and since it is not always in stock, I decided to buy another 10 cans (about half of what they had on the self). I like Turkey Spam, it is just turkey meat with sea salt, especially fried with eggs for breakfast. It also makes good sandwiches. As a long-term option, Turkey Spam can easily last more than 5 years on the shelf as long as the can remains unopened and undamaged. 

I also used the shopping trip for reconnaissance - checking prices and seeing what was and wasn't in stock. This sort of awareness is important. I did notice more empty spots on the shelves. At Walmart, the frozen veggies section which was 3/4 empty, and the rest of frozen foods was about 1/2 empty. The mac-and-cheese and other boxed pastas section was about 80% empty. The pet foods section was also more than 1/2 empty once again.  These were the lowest-stocked sections, but there were empty spots and thin shelves throughout the grocery section. I also noticed that the prices for various dried beans, peas, and lentils have gone up across the board in the past few weeks.

Gardening

The rest of the morning I spent in the garden. I've already planted 2 kinds of loose-leaf lettuce, onions, early peas, and a few early tomato plants this year. Much more planting to come as we move into spring. Most of my backyard is now garden space, and I am trying to maximize my food production. I also have a herb garden in the front yard, which I am expanding again this year.

Buckets of Food

Yesterday afternoon was spent putting up 12 five-gallon buckets of dried foods to add to my long-term storage. I already had the buckets, food, and oxygen absorbers, so it was just a matter of actually packing it up. The count from yesterday:
  • 3 buckets of black beans 
  • 2 buckets of black-eyed peas
  • 2 buckets of regular lentils
  • 1 bucket of red lentils
  • 1 bucket of lima beans
  • 2 buckets of oatmeal
  • 1 bucket of cornmeal 
As long as they remain dry and insect/fungus free, all these have a potential 25+ year shelf life stored this way. 

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