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Survival Thread (Food Edition)

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Jan 26, 2021
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Shelter, Fire, Water, Food. (in that order) The holy quaternity when it comes to survival situations.

Shelter: The chances of one of us getting lost in the woods and needing to build our own shelter are pretty low. In a situation of societal turmoil, our shelter will likely be pretty easy to come by, in many cases, we may just stay right where we are. (Note: By "societal turmoil", I don't necessarily mean some apocalyptic event, but things could happen that would require us to fend for ourselves for a while. See: Great Depression, Venezuelan Socialism, Wartime Shortages, etc)

Fire: Fire shouldn't be hard to come by in the long run. Lighters are everywhere. Might not hurt go get your hands on a ferro rod or other fire striker if you fear a coming lighter shortage. If you don't have a fire-place, don't fret. Our "shelters" are typically good enough to get by with a blanket or four, even in extreme cold if our electricity goes out.

Water: Water is another story, and one worth of a thread of its own.

That brings us to Food.

I see a lot of people storing up emergency stashes of food. 3 months. 6 Months. A year. Awesome. In most emergency situations, that's more than enough. I don't want this post to come across like I'm disparaging preppers. Not at all. It's a worthy endeavor and a great idea to have a small stash of food. After all, good luck growing a garden in the dead of winter, right? It's a great idea to have enough on hand to get you through to growing season.

My only problem with food prepping, however, is that it is not enough, in the (unlikely?) case of a long-term societal turmoil/collapse/etc. There's only so much food you can store. Eventually, you're going to have to provide food for yourself the way your grandpappy used to do it. (If your grandpappy didn't, then bear with me... Somebody's grandpappy did.)

What I'm getting at is: Does anybody know how to grow their own food anymore? If not, it wouldn't be a bad idea to pick it up as a skillset. I'm not saying quit your job and become a farmer, but grow a small garden every year just to get the hang of it. Being able to put food on the table long-term is an invaluable skill that I think is becoming lost to our current generations. Hunting, fishing, farming... Worth every second of time you invest in improving in these areas.

Also, check out this link. It's a basic blueprint for stealth gardening. Depending on the situation, being able to hide the fact that you're growing food could be very handy. Plus, these tips are also very reminiscent of companion planting, which I think is just a good idea in any situation.

Anybody else have any tips for growing/procuring food? Stealth gardening? Hunting? Fishing? Trapping? Let's hear it.

Got any stories to share? Pics of big game kills you wanna show off? Let's hear it.

Am I just wrong about something I said above and you can't wait to let me hear about it? Let's hear it.
 
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quickfeet

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Need this thread to gain some traction. Great input OP.

Honestly I've never thought about the order of importance of shelter, fire, water, food. I've always thought food first in a survival situation, but I see now how that could get you screwed up in priorities.
 

RKirkD

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Pouring the concrete footer for a 9x16 green house that was my wife's request for Xmas. She started gardening seriously this year. Green house allows for winter crops and getting a jump on growing season every year. Hoping to have it put up this weekend. She had more tomatoes than we could eat (from 5 plants) and I couldn't believe how many eggplants came from 2 plants. Squash, cucumber, carrot, onion and green beans were all relatively easy in a 16x16 area that I built using landscape timber box. She enjoys it and my kid did too so it's become a thing for us now.

This is the one we're installing but I got a much better price at Lowes (+10 military discount) but this site had a better picture. Solar panel that creates enough to control the auto opening vents and fan and also has a small rain water collection system - we'll see if that work or not.
 

Hb35

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First off, I’m a redneck. After my wife and all her family read “one second after” they talked prepping all the time. I have a hunting cabin that we can get too, even by foot if it is really the real deal. It has double insulation, a clear water spring in the backyard, and sits on a lake adjoining over 30k acres of hardwood.

I have no doubt in my mind that I could supply all my family and both siblings families with meat. Fish would be the easiest, but I have stockpiles of enough .22 and 5.56 to supplement.

Vegetables are my concern as well. I need some seed stocks, and if my mother in law passed, someone will need to learn canning. I don’t eat many vegetables as it is, I told them I’d probably end up with scurvy. They’d be force feeding me dandelions and Poke salad.

I don’t have a wood burning stove, but the cabin next to me does, so I’ll just pirate that.
 
Joined
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Need this thread to gain some traction. Great input OP.

Honestly I've never thought about the order of importance of shelter, fire, water, food. I've always thought food first in a survival situation, but I see now how that could get you screwed up in priorities.
Yeah, if you look at it from a wilderness survival standpoint, exposure will kill you faster than anything else. And water would usually be above fire (I think some people argue that it should be) but unless you have a clean water source, you need fire to boil your water.

It's easy to prioritize food in your mind because we all have shelter, "fire" (heaters, insulated houses, etc), and clean water already taken care of. In an extreme scenario, however, those could begin to slowly fall off. Important to have contingency plans for each, IMO.
 
Joined
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Messages
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Pouring the concrete footer for a 9x16 green house that was my wife's request for Xmas. She started gardening seriously this year. Green house allows for winter crops and getting a jump on growing season every year. Hoping to have it put up this weekend. She had more tomatoes than we could eat (from 5 plants) and I couldn't believe how many eggplants came from 2 plants. Squash, cucumber, carrot, onion and green beans were all relatively easy in a 16x16 area that I built using landscape timber box. She enjoys it and my kid did too so it's become a thing for us now.

This is the one we're installing but I got a much better price at Lowes (+10 military discount) but this site had a better picture. Solar panel that creates enough to control the auto opening vents and fan and also has a small rain water collection system - we'll see if that work or not.
Very very nice. Year round crops are the way to go for sure. Especially with the rain water collection system.
 
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They’d be force feeding me dandelions and Poke salad.
Dandelions and poke salat bring up a good point. Growing vegetable crops is an important skill, but knowing what food and medicine you already have growing all around you is just as important.

I'll toss Pine needles in there as a good source of vitamin C. (boil the needles to make a tea) Disclaimer, be sure you have pine, and not another evergreen. Not all evergreens are edible, but your typical pine tree is edible: needles, cones (they produce pine nuts), bark, and root. Just do your research to be sure you have the right tree if you're uncertain.
 

Croot_Overlord

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Dandelions and poke salat bring up a good point. Growing vegetable crops is an important skill, but knowing what food and medicine you already have growing all around you is just as important.

I'll toss Pine needles in there as a good source of vitamin C. (boil the needles to make a tea) Disclaimer, be sure you have pine, and not another evergreen. Not all evergreens are edible, but your typical pine tree is edible: needles, cones (they produce pine nuts), bark, and root. Just do your research to be sure you have the right tree if you're uncertain.
Yeah I’ve always been a fan of foraging. Reference the Crootn deep dive.

Good info on the shelter and fire priority.

You mentioned water deserves its own thread, but could you go into detail a little more?
 

MSU_Spartans

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I did some container gardening last year with plants from Home Depot. I am hoping to start from seed this year but the website where I bought them from are backed up by at least 30 days. I am going to build a couple of raised beds this year as well. From my shitty planting last year we had tons of tomatoes and peppers. I'm excited to see what I can get by having more plants and actually paying attention to them. I would like to install a rain barrel with a solar powered pump but that's probably next year with a newborn coming in June. There is limitless information out there if you search for it.
 
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Yeah I’ve always been a fan of foraging. Reference the Crootn deep dive.

Good info on the shelter and fire priority.

You mentioned water deserves its own thread, but could you go into detail a little more?

Most of the detail I'd use to fill a whole other thread would be filtration and purification methods. They vary depending on your "survival scenario". They can range from simply boiling the water to building a makeshift filter out of dirt, pebbles, and a sock. I've seen a guy who scooped up pond water and put it out in the sun in a clear bottle to let the UV kill off a bunch of the parasites, though he was using a plastic bottle and I'd avoid doing that unless that's all you have available.

And when it comes to prepping for water purification, hand-pump filtration systems are widely available. Lifestraw is a little $20 device that you can just dip into an unclean water source and it filters it as you drink. Berkey makes an awesome gravity filter that sits on the kitchen counter. (good for just normal water filtration as well, not just survival scenarios). Iodine tablets are an option. I have even heard you can add bleach to your water to purify it, but there are a lot of variables to keep straight so you don't poison yourself. (8 drops of bleach to 1 gallon of water for 6% bleach, 6 drops to a gallon of 8.25%).

The need for pure water has bred a ton of filtration/purification methods and many of them deserve attention. Food is vital, for sure, but water is far more so. We can survive as long as a month without food but only 3 days without water. And when it comes to survival, clean water is key. Don't want to poop yourself to death because you got thirsty.

I personally think our drinking water needs good filtration and careful attention even in our current society. But that's a whole other bag of cats.
 

HunterPKP

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I've got some fortunate advantages for living in Midtown Atlanta. First, our building is a honeycomb of concrete slab construction. Vertical walls and flooring at between 6 to 12 inches thick of concrete rebar. Also, the heaviest doors I remember for entering/exiting our condo. Intruders would need to have one of those police personal battering rams to get door open and then they'd still struggle. Having a bolt lock that the bolt goes over 2 inches into the wall helps. My SUV is parked in an enclosed, half below ground garage also surrounded by 12 inch thick concrete. Why do I mention this? If we are hit by EMP, my SUV has a better than 50% chance to survive. Transportation will be key if things get real bad.

Back to holing up here. Our condo is also elevated 4 stories above street level. If elevators are out, you cannot easily get up the exterior stairs. Doors all locked from the inside. Cannot come up from parking garage so intruders would have to spend time breaking in. I can get down to parking garage though.

Water? Short term no problem. Long term would have to go find more. Keep around 3-4 cases of 16 oz water at any given time. Food? Zero challenges. Lots of canned vegetables, soup, dry soup, rice, etc. Also have 48 MREs. At 3k calories each, that's enough to sustain the wife and I for 96 days if that's all we had.

Defense? Two cases of #6 and #8 shotgun shells. If intruders are coming down the hall, 3 quick shots from the 870 will make them scatter or die. If that doesn't work then the 1000 rounds of .45 will take care of them from there. The .270 will take care of anything outside of the building and I can hit almost anything at 200+ yards. If intruders hold the 9mm sideways, they have zero chance.

Still, think it's critical that the SUV stays in good working shape. Can bug out quickly to my brother's place in Alabama or a good friend's cabin well outside of Atlanta.
 

sclaw03

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I've always had a small garden that produces well and for the first time last year I grew some sweet potatoes in big pots. Going forward this would be my number one choice for a personal food supply. They grow like weeds w/ no maintenance. To cook, I literally just wrap them in tinfoil (add butter, brown sugar and cinnamon if you have it) and throw them in the fire for 20 min or so. Any funky ones you don't want to eat just throw back in the ground and it'll prod more next season. I've still got 7 big pots of them that I haven't harvested from last season so it seems it could be a good food source for year round if necessary.
 

lhpvol

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I've got some fortunate advantages for living in Midtown Atlanta. First, our building is a honeycomb of concrete slab construction. Vertical walls and flooring at between 6 to 12 inches thick of concrete rebar. Also, the heaviest doors I remember for entering/exiting our condo. Intruders would need to have one of those police personal battering rams to get door open and then they'd still struggle. Having a bolt lock that the bolt goes over 2 inches into the wall helps. My SUV is parked in an enclosed, half below ground garage also surrounded by 12 inch thick concrete. Why do I mention this? If we are hit by EMP, my SUV has a better than 50% chance to survive. Transportation will be key if things get real bad.

Back to holing up here. Our condo is also elevated 4 stories above street level. If elevators are out, you cannot easily get up the exterior stairs. Doors all locked from the inside. Cannot come up from parking garage so intruders would have to spend time breaking in. I can get down to parking garage though.

Water? Short term no problem. Long term would have to go find more. Keep around 3-4 cases of 16 oz water at any given time. Food? Zero challenges. Lots of canned vegetables, soup, dry soup, rice, etc. Also have 48 MREs. At 3k calories each, that's enough to sustain the wife and I for 96 days if that's all we had.

Defense? Two cases of #6 and #8 shotgun shells. If intruders are coming down the hall, 3 quick shots from the 870 will make them scatter or die. If that doesn't work then the 1000 rounds of .45 will take care of them from there. The .270 will take care of anything outside of the building and I can hit almost anything at 200+ yards. If intruders hold the 9mm sideways, they have zero chance.

Still, think it's critical that the SUV stays in good working shape. Can bug out quickly to my brother's place in Alabama or a good friend's cabin well outside of Atlanta.
I dont see any way you'd get out of midtown in a vehicle after an EMP. Even if yours were still operable, every road would be blocked by bricked cars, and theres no room to get around all the obstacles.

Add to that the fact that a running vehicle would be a major attractant to any roving looters and you'd probably be better off on foot. Try to blend in with everyone else fleeing the city
 

HunterPKP

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I dont see any way you'd get out of midtown in a vehicle after an EMP. Even if yours were still operable, every road would be blocked by bricked cars, and theres no room to get around all the obstacles.

Add to that the fact that a running vehicle would be a major attractant to any roving looters and you'd probably be better off on foot. Try to blend in with everyone else fleeing the city

If the EMP hit during rush hour, you would 98% most likely be correct. Mid-day or especially at night with an EMP and I'd be 100% fine.
 
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I've always had a small garden that produces well and for the first time last year I grew some sweet potatoes in big pots. Going forward this would be my number one choice for a personal food supply. They grow like weeds w/ no maintenance. To cook, I literally just wrap them in tinfoil (add butter, brown sugar and cinnamon if you have it) and throw them in the fire for 20 min or so. Any funky ones you don't want to eat just throw back in the ground and it'll prod more next season. I've still got 7 big pots of them that I haven't harvested from last season so it seems it could be a good food source for year round if necessary.
Growing potatoes in big pots is the way to go. You can just dump the pot out at the end of the season and harvest super easily. I haven't grown sweet potatoes, though. What type of soil do you use? Dig it out of your yard or buy a potting soil or?
 

sclaw03

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Growing potatoes in big pots is the way to go. You can just dump the pot out at the end of the season and harvest super easily. I haven't grown sweet potatoes, though. What type of soil do you use? Dig it out of your yard or buy a potting soil or?
Exactly. Hard to imagine anything else easier to grow than the sweet. I used a mixture of plain old top soil, sand and pete moss. May have added some 101010 but that wasn't routine. They'd prob grow in any dirt to be honest though bc like I said they grew like weeds. Not only did they fill all of the pots, they grew potatoes everywhere the vines touched the ground. I had just as many along the walkways, etc as I did in the pots. Not sure you could mess them up.
 
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Exactly. Hard to imagine anything else easier to grow than the sweet. I used a mixture of plain old top soil, sand and pete moss. May have added some 101010 but that wasn't routine. They'd prob grow in any dirt to be honest though bc like I said they grew like weeds. Not only did they fill all of the pots, they grew potatoes everywhere the vines touched the ground. I had just as many along the walkways, etc as I did in the pots. Not sure you could mess them up.
Sounds awesome. Anything that produces that much is definitely worth the time and effort. Okra is another plant like that. Basically no maintenance needed and it produces like crazy. But not quite as filling as sweet potatoes.
 

America 1st

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Sweet potatoes are great because you can feed them to your dogs boiled or baked.

Many people consider dogs family and depending on their training could be a real asset in a survival situation.
 

Oklahoma

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I just looked up seed storage and found three completely contradicting opinions. What’s the process?
 

MSU_Spartans

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I just looked up seed storage and found three completely contradicting opinions. What’s the process?
I think it depends on what you are looking to harvest the seeds from. I'm attempting saving seeds this year but each fruit/vegetable was a little different in how they are "saved". Or are you saying three different opinions on a single type of food?
 

skramer100

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Sounds awesome. Anything that produces that much is definitely worth the time and effort. Okra is another plant like that. Basically no maintenance needed and it produces like crazy. But not quite as filling as sweet potatoes.
great thing about both okra and sweet potatoes is that they both grow in the brutal South Florida summer. Not much else will but those do great.
 

Oklahoma

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I think it depends on what you are looking to harvest the seeds from. I'm attempting saving seeds this year but each fruit/vegetable was a little different in how they are "saved". Or are you saying three different opinions on a single type of food?

I was just quickly reading the Google results and one said in a jar in the fridge, one said in the freezer and one said never in the freezer so gave up and came here. I wasn’t looking at a specific variety, just “seed storage.”
 
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Basically my/our "oh shit plan" is to make it to one of our farms. This one in particular is about 7 miles outside of town, has a 40 acre pond/lake, a 3 bed cabin, 20 acre pecan orchard, 5 acres of blueberries, an area near the cabin has grape vines & apple trees. Aside from that there's a few hundred acres of woods to hunt in. The only thing I'd like to add is a small well with a handpump should power be out/remain out which is a likely part of a true "oh shit' scenario.
 

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