Can You Really Freeze Dry Food At Home Without A Machine? (link)

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I love freeze dried food. It’s nutritious, tasty, super lightweight… it just can’t be beat. But, it’s expensive to purchase in most cases and if you want to freeze dry at home, well, you’ll have to buy an expensive machine which is one big reason why I buy my freeze dried foods from commercial manufacturers.

Apparently, however, it’s possible to “freeze dry” food at home and without an expensive machine. To be honest, I am wondering if the method in the following article is a little suspect because freeze dried foods aren’t just frozen to really cold temperatures, they’re then placed in a vacuum and subject to low heat in order to induce sublimation, after which they undergo further drying to eliminate as much moisture as possible.

With that in mind, the two methods outlined in the following article don’t take the freeze-drying process quite that far but I do wonder if either method is more viable that dehydrating, or if they can be combined with dehydrating? There’s only one way to find out, guess I’ll have to give it a shot…

“Learning how to freeze dry food is something that’s gaining popularity.

It doesn’t come as a surprise to us, because many preppers are now simply discovering the “long forgotten” art of freeze drying their foods at home.

In truth, freeze drying has been in constant commercial use for generations. Applying it in your home is quit easy, with or without a special machine.

When you freeze dry food, the water content and moisture are eliminated. It’s a lot like drying food on drying racks, but you’re also adding the freezing process.

Freeze drying food is useful in situations like long camping trips, or long term food storage for an emergency or disaster…”

Read the full article here

Very Efficient? Rocket Mass Smoker and Cooker (video)

Paul Wheaton really loves his rocket mass heaters and so it stands to reason that he would make a rocket mass smoker / cooker at some point, lol. I’m assuming this is rather efficient since it employs the rocket mass heater design but I’m only guessing here since he didn’t specifically say so.

Anyway, keep this idea filed in the back of your head for SHTF since this could be a great way to preserve meat or just as an efficient cooker. Skip to about the 0:40 mark to bypass the intro and get to the smoker…

7 Great Places to Hide and Secure Your Prepper Supplies in Your Home (Guest Post)

Have you ever wondered how to secure your valuables, prepping supplies, and weapons if you need to leave home for a while? Are you concerned that these items might be stolen if someone broke in and had plenty of time to go through the contents of your home? In these days of possible civil unrest, it is very important to know how to hide your stockpile and other valuables in secret locations within your home. The last thing you want for you and your family is to have your supplies and weapons stolen by looters or thieves. Typically, when looters or robbers hit your home, they want to be in and out in a short time. The longer they are there, the greater their chances of getting caught.

While hiding and securing your valuables in plain sight is a surprisingly good, yet overlooked option, secret caches are also very important. Here are some basic rules you should always follow no matter where you wind up hiding your valuables:

  • Never talk about your hiding places to anyone that doesn’t live with you. The more people that know where your stuff is hidden, the less secure and secret your valuables, prepping supplies, and weapons will be.

  • Never share in social media that you are going away. When people know you aren’t home, it may alert thieves in your area that your home is up for easy pickings.

  • Most people believe that a good heavy duty safe is a good hiding place, however, they forget to make sure thieves can’t simply pick the safe up and carry it away.

  • Never store all your valuables in one place. Instead, make hidden little caches throughout the house that the average thief would never think about checking.

  • Leave a few unimportant items in hidden, but relatively easy to find locations such as cookie jars or other places where thieves might look first. In some cases, robbers will waste time going for these areas first, and then overlook deeper searches for more valuable items.

  • You can always use jewelry boxes for decoys as long as nothing of special value is kept in them. Some other decoy (but otherwise bad hiding places include: desk drawers, bedside drawers, sock drawers, inside picture frames, inside electrical appliances or heaters, lock boxes, or filing cabinets. Lockboxes practically advertise that something valuable may be inside, so thieves will take it no matter what.

  • Always avoid areas that can damage your valuables, prepping supplies, or weapons. An example of this is hiding these items unprotected in a toilet water tank.

  • Do not forget that modern thieves have all kinds of technology at their disposal. For example, if you are hiding a gun, don’t put it in an area where a metal detector would easily reveal its location. Even if you must hide something in a wall, make sure that electrical wires or other items will be found first, thus preventing further search for your important valuables.

7 Places Where You Can Hide Your Valuables

1. Electric light switches and wall outlets

One of the great advantages of using electrical outlets is that your home literally has dozens of them. The average thief really won’t want to waste the time to unscrew all the light switches or electrical outlet plates. It is also possible to install little safes behind the outlets. The average homeowner can do it easily. It is better to use a larger gang box, as it will give you more storage room.

2. Wall air vent safe

The wall vent safe is an excellent place to hide valuables and other prepping materials. When this project is completed. Anyone who looks into the vent will believe that it is an actual air vent and not a secure storage area.

3. Wall mounted shelves ( as seen on rethinksurvival.com )

The stealth shelf is an excellent place to store valuables or firearms that you want to keep hidden in plain sight. When the shelf is closed it looks like a simple shelf hanging on the wall.

Hidden cache areas can also be built into other types of furniture. Once these secret areas are closed it is very hard to see where they are. Just remember, however, that thieves will tear up couches and other soft furniture because it is easy to expose anything that may be hidden. If you decide to hide items in a couch, you can try adding hollow supports that appear to be part of the frame.

Any kind of shelf, windowsill, or cabinet can also make the perfect place to hide items in plain sight.

  • Use false containers in the kitchen cupboard, under the sink, and in the bathroom. A good example of this is fake food cans, boxes, and false cleaning product bottles and cans.

  • Wrap money and other valuables in plastic and aluminum foil and store in the back of the freezer. Not many people want to search through cold frozen items.

  • Hide items in a large house plant pot. When using this method, put the soil in a waterproof liner that can be lifted up to reveal items underneath. Also be sure that the hidden items are in a waterproof airtight container.

4. Secret hidden closet safe or storage area covered by a sliding floor door

While this location may be obvious, a burglar would have to exert a lot of time and energy, create a lot of noise, while trying to break into a floor safe located in a bedroom closet. These safes are generally very heavy, which makes them hard to open, and also hard to pick up and steal. Even if the thief recognizes he/she has walked into a safe, and has plans to break into safes and lock boxes later on, this safe will take a lot of effort to remove in the first place.

5. Hidden storage area behind a wooden bookcase door

Hidden bookcase doors would be excellent to hide a windowless pantry or hide a seldom used basement stairway from prying eyes. The bookcase portion of the door could be used as a pantry, or for storing books and nick-knacks. Typically, these areas can be used to hide the entrance to your personal man cave, panic room, armory, bug out, or other secret room. In a time of civil unrest or other emergencies, looters or thieves will know where to go to steal their survival supplies, however, it may take more energy than they care to expend to break down a large bookcase, or find an entrance to an area that doesn’t even seem to exist.

A finished attic is another great area to use hidden bookcase doors. It is also very easy to incorporate hidden storage areas when building a new clothes or storage closet. There is also a lot of wasted space that can be used for storage caches under the roof in the attic.

If you go to all the trouble to install a bookcase hiding place, do not forget to make it more realistic by adding some books. In this case, you can add hollowed out books that small items can be hidden in. If the book is thick enough, it can be hollowed out so that a small caliber pistol could be hidden within the pages of the book. These book caches should be in a bookcase or bookshelf among normal hardcover books. You may even want to use a few of them as decoys so that thieves will figure they already found anything of value and overlook the entrance sitting behind the bookcase.

6. Hide valuables in a fake PVC clean out drain

If you have a basement sink or laundry area in your home, these are excellent areas for a fake PVC clean out drain. Here you have a hide in plain sight valuables safe that has quick and easy access.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9i1BDJ5rPkc

7. Hidden storage behind a picture frame or mirror

This little hideaway area is an excellent place to hide valuables, prepper supplies, and weapons. To the average person, when the picture frame is hung correctly would look like any other hanging framed pictures. Do not hide items inside the frame or behind the picture. Even though the item may seem to be hidden from sight, it may create a bulge or uneven area if the item is too thick.

A good storage area can also be made by hollowing out the area behind a mirror. Make sure these storage areas are well covered up and that the covering will not slip or slide.

In Conclusion

In today’s world of coming civil unrest, it is to your advantage to keep all of the families valuables, prepping supplies, and weapons well hidden from sight. To keep these much needed valuable resources safe, no one should ever know that you have them. There is a strong need for security and secrecy or the family could be targeted by looters or thieves.

There are so many excellent ideas out there on hiding your valuables in plain sight. Please share them if it doesn’t compromise your valuable resources or if you have any experiences of individuals looting or attempting to in your area. Please feel free to say so in the comment section below.

Further Reading:

About Fred Tyrell:

I am an Eagle Scout and a retired police officer. I love the great outdoors and I am very conservation minded. It is my wish to pass along to other generations what I have learned in my lifetime. I am a champion marksman with handguns, rifles, and shotguns. You can read more of my articles on Survivor’s Fortress. Follow me on Twitter.

How To Make A Survival Flash Grenade (video)

Not sure if this is worth the effort but still a neat idea as it’s something I’ve never seen made before. That said, I’m not sure I would call this a “flash grenade” but more of a “fast burning and bright flare.” Regardless, as he suggests at the end this idea could be useful for drawing attention, as an intruder alarm, and for starting a fire if no other choice…