I’ve written in the past about survival needs (using Maslow’s hierarchy of needs), which is obviously a huge part of survival and prepping. After all, if you don’t have water, food, shelter, and so on… you can’t really survive, can you?
But, that’s not entirely what makes life *worth* living, is it? I assume that I would choose to survive until my last breath no matter the circumstances but I also have to imagine that if I’m going to survive then I might as well include a few creature comforts too.
Now, what comes to mind when you think about not just surviving, but doing so in style? Well, for me, it starts with my stomach. I know my family is a huge pain in the rear when it comes to eating leftovers. While I’ll eat darn near anything until it’s gone, my family won’t (especially my wife!). Now, think about how well leftovers are going to go over when it’s truly bland rice and beans day in and day out; rice and beans aren’t going to go over real well I can tell you that, but why not spice things up a bit?
So, I choose to stock a wide variety of seasonings and gravy mixes to make these basic foods taste different. Remember that once upon a time spices were treated as if they were gold and for good reason… people got tired of eating the same old bland meals! Even if I’ve put together the same meal for days on end I can change it just a little bit with a different gravy mix or seasoning and now it’s something else. Please don’t discount how important this topic is. As Americans, we’re highly accustomed to a huge variety of taste sensations and our tastebuds expect nothing less.
In addition, it never hurts to have a wide variety of meals that can be prepared with basic food storage staples. That’s why I created my Food Storage Recipes Database (and gave it to you for free, I might add). With several hundred recipes included, it’s hard to duplicate meals.
Sticking with the food topic for a bit longer, remember to include the true comfort items, such as chocolates. This is my weakness! Honestly, this category could be anything that you really love to eat such as candies, granola, or chocolates; however, it’s obviously difficult to store foods such as ice cream. In this case, you’re better off knowing how to make it from scratch, which is probably healthier for you anyway.
While I’m thinking about it, the liquids you consume are equally important. While I prefer to drink water most of the time, I do like an occasional fruit drink, tea, soda, or beer. Certianly, some of these can be more easily stocked than others. Consider what vices you and your family may have and act accordingly. The ability to heat water for a cup of coffee or hot chocolate is usually morale-boosting too. Often fruit drink mixes and cocoa mix can be bought and stored in bulk and, if you’re vigilant, coffee and tea may be stored as well. For those of us who *NEED* their morning coffee… stock away!
There’s more to comfort items than just food and drink…
For example, the need to be entertained is a huge one. We’re so accustomed to the television, computer, iPhones, movie theatres, and so on that absolute silence might give some of us a heart attack! As I’ve written about this in the past (multiple times, in fact) I won’t go into details here but, suffice it to say, that you should be thinking about how you will entertain yourself and your family. Think board games, books, portable DVD player… even the ability to charge an iPod for music, games, and more. I know that eventually we’ll find other ways to entertain ourselves besides electronics but for most of us Americans (even adults) it is still a very important comfort item.
What else can you think of? What says “this makes life worth living” to you?