Sunday, June 5, 2011

How Much Is Enough?

I have seen this question posed on many blogs and forums about preparedness.
How much _________ is enough?
The blank can be filled in with many items:
Fuel (gas or diesel)
First Aid Supplies
Pet Food

It is really a hard question for many of us. How much IS *enough*.? Is there ever really *enough*?
I have seen people that (I thought ) were a bit ridiculous about their preps.
Usually when the person has food storage enough to feed a small army for 2 years, they are seriously lacking in another area, such as guns & ammo, first aid supplies, etc.
We have all seen the guy with 40 guns and 10 thousand rounds of ammo for each...and in his pantry are just a couple of bags of beans.
I have seen people with first aid supplies that would rival a decent sized emergency room that didn't own a single gun and their pantry was filled with mainly microwave meals.

I think the best way to be *prepped* is to approach it thoughtfully and in a balanced manner.

First all, THE most important *prep* is:

What good are 40 buckets of wheat if you have no clue how to prepare it? It was great that your friend at the hospital *hooked you up* with some *premo* first aid supplies, but if you have no knowledge on how to use them, you will be a danger to anyone you try to assist.Having guns and ammo is a great idea---unless you don't practice!
Study is a bad word to some folks, but a delightful one to me. I study cookbooks as I were cramming for the SATs! I experiment with recipes. "What if I didn't have THIS ingredient? What would I substitute?" I have studied yeast as if my life depended on it. The care and feeding of, how to *capture* wild yeast for baking, etc. Why? Because someday I may not have easy access to yeast for baking and , darnit, I like bread!
I study first aid manuals with the same intensity. Why? Because someday my life or someone else's may be dependent upon my knowledge. Same goes for medicinal herbs.
So the VERY first thing you want in your *preps* is KNOWLEDGE and SKILLS.
You can NEVER have *enough* of  Knowledge and Skills!

Next, you want:
Tools can be categorized as items that will allow you to make the best use of your *preps*. A decent wheat grinder, reloading equipment, food dehydrator, canning jars, garden rakes, etc. These are all tools.
Yes, you can eat that wheat without grinding it, but after a while, that would be pretty boring!

Lastly, you need the actual:
I suggest to everyone that asks me about getting started to do it one month at a time. Work your budget out for that month and figure out how much money you have left for groceries. Include one 50 pound bag of rice and a 20 pound bag of pinto beans on your grocery list. Not that expensive!
I know storage may be an issue.
Currently, because of a shopping trip my fella made today, we have this on the washer:
That's a total of 200 pounds of rice and 80 pounds of pinto beans.
NOT effective storage, but tomorrow I will fix that.
Here is how you can store a massive amount of beans and rice in a fairly small space:

 Yes, those are soda bottles, 2 and 3 liter soda bottles. I scald them out, dry them out completely and add a couple of bay leaves to each bottle. If I have space in my freezer, I also freeze each bottle overnight to make sure no insects are present. The bay leaves keep any insect eggs that may be present from hatching. You can also do this with flour and just about any grain.
The bottles you see above are in a very tiny closet in my laundry room that has six shelves. You can also store them under your bed or in any other nooks and crannies you have around the house.

If you can afford more than one bag of each, get two of each. Maybe get a bucket of wheat. A lot of Wal-Marts and Costco's and Sam's Club locations now carry *prep* supplies, including wheat, dehydrated vegetables and fruit, etc. Buy what you can afford.

Remember to rotate what you buy for preps. I eat rice, and so does the rest of the family. We have rice curries, home-made rice cakes, rice & kim-chi, etc., a rice based dish at least twice a week!

When you have a three month supply of food, start looking into other preps...guns, first aid, etc.
If you do not have a well/spring of your own, bottle your own water (easy to do in 2 liter bottles) and squirrel that away, too!

Two and three liter bottles are easily obtained, even if you do not drink soda. Get friends and family to save them for you, check your local recycling center to see if they will give you some, etc.

With ALL your preps, try to take 3 month *bites*. It is less intimidating that way. Watch for sales of prep items. Remember to rotate your supplies and always pay attention to expiration dates, especially on first aid supplies!
My basic philosophy is to have 1 year's worth of supplies.
If I had one years worth of supplies, would I stop *prepping*?
No...because I am always adding to my knowledge and skills base in order to use all my preps more effectively.
How much is enough for you?


  1. I add one teaspoon Morton LiteSalt to one gallon water.
    Here is why ...........
    page 118 Let's Eat Right by Adelle Davis
    Under normal circumstances, a healthy person runs little risk of deficiencies of sodium and chlorine. In extremely hot weather, however, so much salt can be lost through perspiration that death may occur.
    Death from salt deficiency occured during the construction of Boulder Dam and similiar projects. During the blistering summer of 1933 I corresponded with an engineer who was working on Parker Dam. Each letter contained some such note as, "We had a wonderful cook but he died yesterday of sunstroke." The symptoms of sunstroke are now recognized as caused largely by loss of salt through perspiration.
    A lack of salt causes symptoms varying in severity from mild lassitude, weariness, or hot-weather fatigue, common during heat waves, to heat cramp, heat exhaustion, and heatstroke, familiar to those who work in iron foundries, furnace or boiler rooms, and industrial plants such as steel or paper mills. Even persons who play tennis or take similar exercise during hot weather may suffer from heat stroke.
    Persons working in extremely hot weather are often advised to take a salt tablet with each drink of water.
    page 187 there are three nutrients - potassium, sodium and chlorine which we need in quite large amounts. Sodium and chlorine are supplied by tablet salt.

    Morton LiteSalt 11 oz about 99c
    1 oz = 6 teaspooons
    11 oz = 66 teaspoons= 76,560 mg sodium, and 89,760 mg potassium

    1 teaspoon
    1160 mg sodium
    1360 mg potassium
    40% iodine

    One gallon water 128 oz has 16 each 8 oz servings.......
    8 oz water has 72mg sodium 85 mg K
    8 oz Gatorade 110mg sodium 30 mg K
    p273 "Let's eat right" by Adelle Davis "People who salt food lightly should add 3,000 mg sodium to a day's dietary, and those who enjoy well salted food 7,000 mg. Normally, the intake of potassium should be approximately the same as that of sodium, and calcium intake should be 2/3 that of phosphoros."

    Gatorade per 8oz serving
    total fat.....................0 grams
    sodium .................110 mg
    potassium................30 mg
    total carb.................14 grams
    sugars.....................14 grams
    protein .....................0 grams

  2. Vlad, I think you posted the comment here when you meant to post it on today's blog.
    I DO increase my salt intake in summer. Doesn't seem to matter, I still get "heat sick" as my family calls it. I have the Adele Davis book (have had most of them since the 70s!) and try to go by her salt intake recommendations. I still cannot tolerate hot weather. Just my nature, I guess!


Because of a couple of rude people that left comments that included links to porn pages and such, I have been forced to start moderating comments again.