Being prepared. A guide for YOU!
I’ve always enjoyed being prepared for the things life throws at me. A few years ago after a large snowstorm we lost electricity for 7 days. We are a family of 1 adult and 2 children. It was an eye opening experience. Here are some things I’ve learned over the years.
Clean water is essential.
Boiling water over a fire is time and labor intensive. There are a number of better options, today I’ll just cover filters.
There are a large number of inexpensive filters on the market. I like gravity filters. Simply drill a hole in a 5 gallon bucket and screw this in. The filter goes inside the bucket and spout sticking out the bottom. Dirty water in, clean water out! You’ll want a second bucket to collect the clean water underneath! I can’t find a link to the one I’ve used but here is a similar model.
Next you’ll need food.
I keep my pantry stocked with a few days worth of canned goods. Generally I don’t like canned vegetables but they are a good addition to rice. Rice is good for emergencies. It’s cheap and stores for a really long time. You'll want “enriched white rice” as it lasts the longest. It’s easy to find a 50lb bag for around $20. If you want really long term storage you can put it into a sealed mylar bag with an oxygen absorber. Many people will tell you to store dried beans too. I’ve found that even with soaking it takes a lot of cooking to soften them up. Remember the water? Boiling water is time and labor intensive, you are going to want to minimize that effort. For a few $ more you can buy canned vegetables and add those to the rice. Canned peaches and pears are great too. They are delicious and every can comes with peach or pear juice! There are lots of canned meats available as well. Be careful to watch the salt content on canned food though!
Cooking your food.
Despite the romance of old west movies, cooking over an open fire sucks. You need a lot of wood, time, and effort. What you want is a rocket stove, or a very simple variant. Because we used to camp a lot I purchased a nice one from Stovetec. It’s fantastic and greatly reduced the amount of wood needed to boil water. They no longer sell the model I have but here is a similar one. You don't need anything this expensive though.
A similar but much less expensive one can be built easily, just search for "DIY rocket stove".
A third option is to use cinder blocks as shown here:
Finally, we have poop.
Everyone does it and if you don’t have modern plumbing available you need a sanitary way to dispose of it. Ideally you can dig a latrine far enough away from your sleeping and cooking space. For those that don’t have enough space to dig a latrine there are portable toilets and a lot of plastic bags. I won’t go into details here, you can easily search this or just use an old bucket lined with bags.