Sawyer Mini Water Filter Hacks

If you want a good quality, inexpensive backpacking water filter for about $20, it’s hard to beat the Sawyer Mini Water Filter considering all that’s included.

According to the Amazon description it:

  • Removes 99.99999% of all bacteria, such as salmonella, cholera, and E.coli; removes 99.9999% of all protozoa, such as giardia and cryptosporidium
  • Filter rated up to 100,000 gallons; includes 16-ounce reusable squeeze pouch, 7-inch drinking straw, and cleaning plunger

The following video partly shows what’s included and then discusses a few “hacks” to make it all work better…

Legacy Food Storage 72 Hour Food Kit: Enchilada Beans And Rice Review

This week we’re taking a look at another Legacy Foods 72-Hour Kit option which I introduced last week here, specifically the Enchilada Beans and Rice meal:

And the backside of the package:

I should point out that last week I said that I wasn’t sure if any of the meals in the 72-hour kit were gluten free, well, it turns out that four of them are, including this one. The Classic Chili, Cheese & Broccoli Bake, and Cheese and Broccoli Soup are as well. Here’s their gluten-free selection if that’s of interest to you (and their verification letter if you’re the paranoid type, lol).

Just like with the previous meal, you need to bring about six cups of water to a boil, add contents of the freeze-dried pouch (remembering to remove the oxygen absorber which I forgot to do) and then cook over medium heat for 12-15 minutes… and remembering to stir it on occasion which I tend to forget as well. 😉

Once finished you end up with a nice beans and rice meal:

This particular meal made at least three large bowls of food, enough for me, my wife, and both of my kids to have their fill. In fact, my kids honestly thought there would be an enchilada inside because of the title and so, when the found out there wasn’t, they added the beans and rice to a flour tortilla and topped that with cheese like so:

It seems my oldest liked it well enough to have seconds. And, overall, everyone liked the taste and seasonings and so didn’t bother to add anything to it.

Personally, I felt it was seasoned quite well and I was also pleased with the quantity. It was enough for all of us to eat and have full tummies plus it’s easy to cook and lasts a long time in storage. That works for me.

Until next week. Enjoy.

Legacy Food Storage 72 Hour Food Kit: Pasta Primavera Review

I was recently sent this Legacy Food Storage 72 Hour Emergency Food Kit in exchange for an honest review. I figured rather than reviewing the entire bucket contents at once that I would taste test a few of the meals and share my thoughts each time… probably once a week or so.

With that in mind, let’s get a few things out of the way:

First, the food is freeze dried which means it’s both super-lightweight and able to be stored for years without worry if not subject to extreme temperatures or conditions.

Second, according to their literature their ingredients are non-GMO and even offer some gluten-free meals as well, though I don’t believe the meals that came in this kit are.

Third, the meals come in this handy bucket which can certainly be used for storing a variety of items (not food) once everything has been consumed. After remove the safety seal it’s easy to open and close again:

While I’m not sure, I assume the buckets can be stacked atop each other if you purchase more than one and because they’re roughly square these buckets will ultimately take up less space in storage than round buckets will, a nice benefit.

As you can see from the photo below, there are a good variety of meals included, such as pasta primavera, stroganoff, enchilada beans and rice, chili mac, and plenty more.

Now, this is a good time to point out that one thing I would have preferred be different was the images on the front of each pouch. As you can see each one is the same which makes it a bit difficult to show my kids exactly what each meal “looks like.” Though not a big deal it would have been nice to have the photos of each meal on the front of the package to make it obvious what you’re about to eat.

All total there are eight meals included. Since this is a 72-hour kit I would have assumed that a total of nine meals would have been provided (3 meals over 3 days) and that a few breakfast meals would have been included as well, but that’s not the case. No big deal here either as I would honestly prefer better lunches and dinners in my 72-hour meal kit.

While I can easily come up with my own breakfast meals, if you’re expecting no additional forethought you would be wrong. Maybe adding in several dry oatmeal packets into the bucket would be a great start? I’d say that’s the way to go here.

Anyway, my boys voted we try the pasta primavera first:

And here’s the backside:

I did notice a rather significant amount of fat, particularly saturated fat, which is good in a survival situation but it was a bit surprising from pasta; I’m guessing it’s the coconut oil included.

After boiling water, adding the pouch contents, and cooking for about 15 minutes it was done. Here’s the finished product:

Ultimately, this one pouch made three large bowls of pasta primavera which was plenty for me, just about right for my oldest child who eats nonstop, and a bit too much for my youngest who actually saved the last bit of his (which I ate the next day). If we had to split it with my wife too then we probably could have made it work so everybody got enough, but I’d imagine my “chow hound” teenager would still be looking for something else to eat, lol.

I should point out that they include directions for using only half of the pouch if, for instance, there’s only two of you to feed.

How did it taste?

Quite good, actually. I thought the seasoning was just about right but I did add pepper. Of course, I add pepper to pepper so that’s not saying much. My kids both wanted a bit of extra salt but they’re used to my wife’s taste buds who seems to add salt to salt. 🙂

I can say that I’ve had some experience with other freezer dried foods (specifically Thrive Life, Mountain House, and Wise Food) and I’m pleased with my first introduction to Legacy Foods. There was a good amount of food provided–enough for my entire family to have a decent meal–and it was tasty too. What else can you ask for?

The price wasn’t too bad either considering I can feed the four of us with a single pouch. Nearly every other freeze-dried pouch meal I’ve experienced wouldn’t have done that.

More to come next week.

6 Ways Famine Grips The U.S.

Source

It always amazes me how complacent the vast majority of Americans are. Most people seem to think that disaster will never strike them. That the lights will always stay on. That grocery stores will always have food.

On the one hand I can understand this sentiment because–while times are good–society runs very smoothly and we’re rarely without anything we could possible need… or want.

On the other hand, it’s this very “smooth running” of society which makes us uniquely vulnerable because the vast majority of us haven’t a clue what to do if the lights go out for longer than a few hours or if the grocery stores don’t get their next shipments of food in a day or two.

The sad thing is that it’s really not that hard to prepare yourself for at least a minor hiccup in the food supply, for instance, by stockpiling even a bit of shelf stable foods. There are a few strategies to employ, one of the best ones is to start copy canning, that is, purchasing twice the amount of any shelf stable foods you consume each time you got the grocery store (e.g., buy fours cans of green beans if you used two, six cans of corn if you used three, etc). In short order you’ll build up a small stockpile upon which to rely.

Why bother, you ask?

There are plenty of reasons. The following article discusses six, each of which are certainly possible (one or two are inevitable), and I’m sure there are plenty more if one simply bothers to think about how food becomes a precious resource here in America once again…

“1. EMP – one nuclear bomb, detonated high in the ionosphere, can ruin your whole decade. Most of the U.S. could be without power for a very long time. Computers and anything using computer components would be burned out. It’s hard to say just how extensive the damage would be. Most cars would probably be inoperable. Cell phones may or may not be burned out, but the cell towers definitely would be dead. Radio, TV, cable, internet, would all shut down for a very long time. The infrastructure that supports modern communications took many decades to build up, and it would take just as long to rebuild…”

Read the full article here

When Was The Last Time Your Cooked A Meal From Scratch?

Cooking From Scratch,
Image Credit

A while back–over Easter, I think–we had a conversation with my kids about cooking food, in part because the topic came up, but also because my oldest is growing up and needs to realize that making meals is more than just opening a can of soup and calling it good.

Honestly, he actually is interested in learning to cook which is a good thing because he certainly likes to eat, lol.

Back to our conversation… my wife and I began to explain how easy it is to make meals these days. For instance, he loves something called “green bean casserole” which is little more than some green beans, cream of mushroom soup, and shredded cheese combined and cooked in the oven.

Anyway, we tried to explain that making a meal “back in the day” (before modern canning, for example) consisted of way more than just opening a few cans to make your meals. It took a lot of work! Which is probably why women stayed home… it was a full time job. No doubt we’re spoiled in modern society if for no other reason than modern canning.

Just trying to make this green bean casserole from scratch would have been a big ordeal. For instance, the green beans would had to have been picked, snapped, washed, cooked, and then maybe cut into smaller pieces.

I’ve never attempted to make homemade cream of mushroom soup but it’s obvious that mushrooms would had to have been picked, washed, sliced and cooked. It appears that onions and garlic and involved too, along with some more cooking, as well as chicken broth, and flour. Heck, just making bread from scratch is bad enough (here’s a great recipe I’ve used many times).

All that work and we’re not even done yet! The shredded cheese involves a lot more planning as this article points out and far more work than I would be willing to give it, not to mention the waiting involved for the cheese to form. Honestly, I would have just skipped the cheese by now. 🙂

Granted, I know it wouldn’t have been quite this hard. Our ancestors would have canned foods and planned well in advance but, if we’re talking about making a meal from absolute scratch, it’s a lot of work to be sure.

Ultimately, that example was just one side dish. We didn’t even mention the mashed potatoes made from “scratch” (meaning we had to cut and cook the potatoes rather than making the boxed version), or the meat that somebody else had processed–that is, killed, plucked, and cleaned)–or the bread which was already made… you get the idea.

Like I said above: our modern society has us spoiled. I’m not complaining, I’m just worried that when the canned foods run out nobody will know what to do… me included, lol. Seems you and I had best stock up on our canned goods or learn how to cook and eat very, very differently.

Simple Solar Water Distilling – Easy DIY (video)

I’ve never had much luck distilling water with DIY ideas like this but maybe there’s hope yet. The one change I’d like to see is the collection bottles angled downward to collect more water but then this idea won’t work quite as easily, plus I don’t see why you can’t just tape the lids together to save yourself time…

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

Image Credit

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