Floods, tornadoes and earthquakes among many others disasters can disrupt power grids and water supplies over an entire region. Even a local gas line break or power failure would leave the appliances we rely on daily useless.
Now if you and your family are avid preppers or campers this is no big deal – aside from the disaster running rampant outside, of course – because that same knowledge acquired through roughing it out in the woods or practicing your long-term survival skills will be what you call upon to keep bellies full of well cooked food in an emergency.
But if that camper or prepper in you has yet to develop don’t worry because this guide to survival cooking will prepare you for keeping your family well nourished when the next emergency descends on your community. This is all you need to know about prepper’s survival cooking and creating meals for your family successfully.
Survival Cooking For Preppers
In the disaster preparedness game there are two essential situations prepper’s plan for, sheltering in place and bugging-out. While the needs for both evacuation and staying put at home are the same, the emergency equipment will differ thus making the checklist for survival cooking for preppers vital.
The differences are in the form of weight and space. Should you find yourself bugging-in, the only problem cooking with that trusty cast-iron skillet might be whether you’ve used enough oil or not to season it. But it’s safe to assume you would regret strapping that same 7 pound behemoth to your bug-out-bag and lugging it around for days.
While weight and space are the two primary factors, don’t forsake durability and quality for the simple reason, this is the equipment you will depend on and that essential equipment needs to work. The lesson is to plan appropriately for both emergency situations.
Typically, emergency, survival cooking supplies are geared toward bugging-out, and are not dissimilar to what you’d take camping. Generally, this survival gear will include stainless steel cookware, a camp stove or portable grill, a can opener, bottle opener, canteen, bottled water, portable water filter, matches, batteries, cooking utensils, propane or other fuel, tin foil, plastic bags, and non-perishable food products.
While you’ll need to purchase some of these essential items separately, many of them are found grouped together in survival cooking kits. Once again you will want to evaluate potential buys for durability and quality. Also consider the pros and cons of battery versus manually operated equipment. For example, if you choose a battery-powered can opener back it up with a simple manual version that folds up and fits on a key chain or in your bug out bag.
Before you make any buying decisions, check online reviews for survival cooking kits and any emergency equipment you’re considering. People who have used the equipment camping or in disaster situations before are the best source for insight into the reliability of certain products. You might find that a product—when used in survival cooking mode—has functions you’d never thought of before.
Preparation and Cooking Tips
Purchasing emergency cooking gear is a good first step but you also need to equip yourself with the know-how necessary to get through a stressful time. The following tips will ensure you can handle survival cooking like a pro.
1. Maintain a Good Food Supply
Dry mixes, canned meats and vegetables, crackers, canned fruit, powdered milk, rice, pasta, oil, peanut butter, jelly, dehydrated and other foods that don’t require refrigeration or special preparation are best for preppers. Make sure the items you stockpile in your long term food storage are not only high in nutrition and calories, but that they’re also foods your family enjoys. Don’t forget to take any special dietary requirements or allergies into consideration.
2. Stock Up On Water
Besides having enough water for daily hydration and hygiene purposes, and a portable filter to purify water on the move it’s important to have enough water for survival cooking. Especially if you decided on freeze-dried foods for your bug-out bag.
3. Practice the first-in first-out method
Checking expiration dates and consuming food accordingly is essential in an emergency for good health. If you’re at home when disaster strikes, eat perishable items from your garden, pantry, and refrigerator first. You can then move on to your freezer and non-perishable staples.
4. Store Food Properly
Sealing food in airtight containers and store them for the long term in a dry, dark, and cool area will increase their shelf life. However, you should always check for signs of spoilage prior to cooking. Maintain your emergency food stockpile through a rotation system using food before it goes bad and replacing it with fresh supplies.
5. Cook Survival Food the Right Way
Cooking over a fireplace indoors is fine, but you should use a camp stove or charcoal grill outdoors. If you’re heating food in a can, make sure you open the can first and remove any labels. Also, be sure to extinguish flames properly and only warm food with appropriate devices.
6. Ration Emergency Food Appropriately
Rationing food may become a reality. If it becomes necessary keep activity levels to a minimum to reserve your energy and ensure certain children and pregnant women receive adequate nourishment during a survival situation. As long as you eat one well-balanced meal a day and drink enough water, your family’s basic needs will be met. Consider stockpiling protein supplements, vitamins, and minerals to help maintain your health over the long term.
Ultimately, maintaining health and preparing regular meals amidst a stressful, survival situation can be tough but comfort is found in the knowledge that you have prepared. Besides not knowing when you’ll have access to power, food, or fresh water again, you’ll find the task a lot harder if you don’t have a reliable set of survival cooking supplies. Prepare now so your family’s dietary needs are take care of in the event of a disaster.