Prepping for the Winter

Have you heard the phrase "a cold dark winter" being thrown around a lot lately? Why are "they" saying it so much? What are they insinuating? Its very suspicious. Don't you think? We are in the midst of a pandemic and some believe the brink of the apocalypse. Could "they" hinting that they know the lights will go out, or the food will not get to the store, it will be cold, and the beginning of a life that is only depicted on movies?

*Side note: Did you know that Columbus was on the search for gold because he believed the world was going to end back in 1492. And in his belief, whomever had the most gold would be awarded in rapture with Jesus. Yup even in 1492 people believed the world was going to end.*

I only say this because no one can predict the future. No one can say that on a specific day everything we know will disappear in the blink of an eye. No one knows this. Of course some will follow trends and look at the past to tell the future. Some say they have intelligence informants that know whats going to happen. But, in actuality, no one really knows the future with 100% certainty. What I will say is that it never hurts to be prepared.

I was raised by preppers but I also was born a Gemini. I have a free and traveling soul and I am not one to sit in a bunker and wait for the lights to go off. So, I have found a middle ground. Prepare as much as possible. Travel with a bug out bag in case your car breaks down in the middle of winter. Store food, know how to grow food, enrich your basic survival skills that are mainly lost in the last few generations, and live your life to its fullest!! When and if something happens have the knowledge and the supplies to survive that situation. Everything else is out of our control. God wants us to be happy and live life to its fullest. So do that. Just have the Bug out bag in your trunk. Just in case.

This blog is a post about what I have learned over the years to prepare for the winter.

I will have more blogs on preparing for other scenarios. This one is focusing on food storage for the winter. Prepping is simple. Its not a conspiracy. It does not make you affiliated with a certain political party. It is just a precaution in very unsteady and uncertain times.

What do you like to eat regularly? Do not buy food that you think will store well but you will not eat. Because in reality you wont eat it. It will go bad and it will be a waste of money and time. In my family you can never go wrong with a good bean dish and veggies.

My top picks for storage are zucchini. You can shred it and store it flat in a gallon zip lock bag. Always label and date your food. From here you can pull it out to use for zucchini bread, zucchini fritters, Zucchini in morning eggs, to add to a soup, and more. It must be cut or shredded before going into the freezer.

Carrots, Celery, and onion can be shredded in the food processor and put into baggies for a serving of meriqua. Freeze the baggies until you are ready to use them for soups and stir fry.

Garlic can be peeled and placed in a plastic bag and into the freezer. It can then be sliced or shaved with a microplane

Eggs can be stored in many ways, and I will put a blog out focusing just on eggs, but for this post grease a muffin tin, crack 2 eggs for each space, scramble the eggs and any herbs or seasoning. Add shredded cheese to the mixture (optional). Place chopped vegetables in the bottom of the muffin tin. Pour egg, cheese, and seasoning mixture over the veggies in the tin. Leave about 1/2" at the top. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for 24 hours. After they frozen solid, remove them from the tins and place them in a labeled zip lock bag. When you are ready to eat them remove one place in a well oiled non-stick pan (I recommend scanpans. They are non toxic and make the best eggs.) The egg will defrost and turn into veggie and cheese scrambled eggs.

Root Vegetables can be stored if they are stored as they would be pulled out of the ground. Tops and roots in tact. Place them in a container in which the do not touch. Add sand or soil around the spaces and store in a root cellar or walk in freezer.

Coffee beans if not oily can be stored in a root cellar for a very long time. Espresso shots can be poured into ice cube trays and frozen. When it comes time to drink just add hot water and you will have an americano.

Beans are my top storage food. Dried beans, in rodent and environmental proof containers, can last for an eternity. They can be soaked over night and cooked. They can be eaten sprouted and eaten (Visit the post on sprouting). They can germinate for a few weeks and planted in the summer.

How to store food:

You can can it, freeze it, dehydrate it, ferment it, or smoke it.

  • Canning is a method of preserving food from spoilage by storing it in containers that are hermetically sealed and then sterilized by heat. The process was invented after prolonged research by Nicolas Appert of France in 1809… Appert’s method consisted of tightly sealing food inside a bottle or jar, heating it to a certain temperature, and maintaining the heat for a certain period, after which the container was kept sealed until use… In 1810 Peter Durand of England patented the use of tin-coated iron cans instead of bottles…. In the late 19th century, Samuel C. Prescott and William Underwood of the United States set canning on a scientific basis by describing specific time-temperature heating requirements for sterilizing canned foods. Learn how to can here

  • Freeze: I would recommend investing in a few chest freezers . You can place everything in gallon zip lock bags. Label them with what is inside and the date it was frozen. You can even put preperation instructions on there. *TIP: If the electricity goes out and as long as the freezer is completely full your freezer will stay frozen for at least a few days.

  • Dehydrate: You can dehydrate almost anything. You can either place it in the over at the lowest temperature that it will go for 24 hours. You might have to leave the oven door cracked a little bit if your oven doesn't go below 145 degrees. If you live in a sunny location you can sun dry fruits and vegetables. *DIY moment: Take an old window screen and window pane. Clean both well. Place the food on the screen and the window over top and the sun will dehydrate it in a few hours. Or purchase a dehydrator. This is the easiest and fastest way to dehydrate food. One must make sure that the trays are not plastic. You do not want all those plasticides to come off in your food when heated over time. I recommend

Fermenting it, I believe is the easiest way, but it depends on your taste profile. Do you like salty and tangy brine? Then Fermenting your vegetables is the best way to go. I would highly recommend Wildcrafting Fermentation by Pascal Baudar

Or if you need to store meats, smoking it to remove the moisture is the best way. This will require some research but there are great smokers out there and DIY instructions of how to build your own smoker. The trick is to remove the moisture and reduce the sugars that cause food to mold.

And finally, where will you store it?:

Car: I currently live in an area with no cell phone service for miles. It is a mountainous terrain and the weather can change in a blink of an eye. So I believe it is best to be prepared to spend the night in my car due to an unforeseen white out, flat tire, or just from being too sleepy to drive. I always have a gallon of water in my trunk. And I keep dehydrated snacks and meat jerky in my glove compartment. You want to think of what will withstand really hot summer days and really cold winter months.

Root cellar: If you are storing glass jars and cans in a root cellar. Make sure to store them on wood shelving so the temperature stays consistent. Also, make sure your storage containers are rodent proof.

Freezer: Label all plastic baggies. Cut all fruit and veggies before going into the freezer. Most frozen foods will last about 10 months in a freezer. Keep the freezer as full as possible to ensure food stays insulated if the electricity goes out.

Pantry: Storing food in the pantry to easily accessible. You want to make sure you utilize what is in your pantry. Rotate, restock, and use continuously to ensure the most flavor.

Bonus: What should be in my Car survival bag?

Car survival packs are so important to me that I wanted to give you a quick basic how-to stock a car bag. With any emergency pack (or bug out bag) you have to think about your local weather and environment. Is it hot? should you have a few SIS Isotonic Energy Gels

Is it cold? You should have a blanket, a hat, a scarf, extra gloves. A great tip to keep a car warm in the winter is to always carry a tin can, a short fat candle and a light. Put the candle inside the tin can. The can will warm up (do not touch it because it gets really hot). Once the candle is extinguished use your blanket or scarf to move it to a safe spot

Is it raining? Should you have a pair of rain boots, umbrella, an extra towel?

Duct tape can always come in handy. It can be used to repair shoes, secure bags to be closed, tape plastic on a stuck open window, and more.

Paper and pen. This may sound silly but if you were to decide to abandon your vehicle for any reason it is good to leave a note behind in case someone is out looking for you.

A solar cell phone charger. If you live anywhere else in the world except for where i live you will be able to contact help through your cell phone. And, would it be nice to not run out of battery?

Dehydrated fruits and vegetables. Meat jerky. A book to keep you busy while waiting and to not run out your car or cell phone battery.

Do you travel with pets? I travel with my dog all the time. Make sure to have an extra leash, a collapsible water bowl , a few cans of dog food will last a long time or a few baggies of dry food.

Finally, I have all these items neatly stored in an old book bag in my trunk. The reason for this is there might be a time that you have to abandon the car and walk for help. You do not want to go out into unknown territory without your survival gear.

When it comes to survival remember the rule of 3s

You can last 3 minutes without air-So enjoy each breath

You can last 3 days without water-So be grateful for each drop

and You can go 3 weeks without food-So savor each bite

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