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Get Prepped Newsletter: May 31, 2012


Happy Friday Everyone,

Over the past 46 weeks, I have often stressed the importance of re-learning the lost knowledge of our ancestors. Well, today is no different. Our ancestor’s knew more difficult days would come and planned in advance to offset their unstable lifestyle. They knew that life (or Mother Nature for that matter) could throw them a curve ball, and they only had themselves to depend on. This self-reliant attitude led many families to hide survival caches filled with supplies and food in case their personal TEOTWAWKI event happened.

This week, we will discuss in length the importance that a survival cache could play in your life and what items would be best to include. Further, in this week’s newsletter we will provide tried and true methods to waterproofing containers so that they can be buried or hidden for long-term.

With my impending move cross country planned for the middle of June, I want to give you all a head’s up and let you know that I may be temporarily sending the newsletters out every other week instead of every week. There is so much to do in the next 3 weeks that I may not be able to devote my time to the newsletter every week. However, we will finish the 52-Weeks to Preparedness [1], so stay with me as I have some amazing guest writers planned to discuss long-term survival issues.

If you haven’t already, follow us on Twitter [2] or Facebook [3]. I love to interact with the preparedness community, because after all, we are all in this together!


Tess Pennington


Be the change you wish to see in the world.


Week 46 of 52: Survival Caches

Archaic food caches have been found all over the world.  The fact that our ancestors planned for the unexpected gives us a clear picture into their unpredictable lifestyle.  Foods such as nuts and dry goods as well as foraging tools were put away for a time when they needed them the most (Source [4]). Today, we face the same uncertainties in life; and preparing for this sudden upheaval is the best way we can secure our odds at survival.

Survival caches are the ultimate back up plan. If you are going for your survival cache, that means, Plan A and Plan B went awry. In this case, you may be left to survive with only the contents in your cache. Therefore, you must plan out the contents accordingly.

Given the seriousness of this preparedness issue, many preppers see the value in having multiple caches spread out geographically to fall back on in order to lessen the risk of losing everything. Survival caches can be buried or hidden in secure areas around the property to ensure you have extra survival items to fall back on. Keep in mind that before you hide a cache, you need to have chosen a good location preferably within the parameters of your evacuation route. You also want to keep in mind that the best evacuation route would be one that does not require use of highways or frequently used roads.

Ideally, you want some of your cache(s) to be away from your retreat. One prepper in particular I read about has multiple caches along his bug out route and has even gone to great lengths of planting edible native plants he can use as an emergency source of food.

According to this article [5], a GPS would be ideal as you can program the location of the cache as a way-point in the navigation system. Special markings at the location can also be used as a way to identify the location. For instance, spraying yellow paint on two tree’s to mark that the cache is in between them. Ensure that you keep good track of where you hide your survival cache and also remember to keep the location of your cache quiet. The more people who know about your survival cache, the more vulnerable the cache is to being found and used by someone else.

Many preppers have chosen to hide or bury their caches in different locations and in an assortment of containers ranging from enclosed PVC pipes [6], water proof ammunition containers, 50-gallon drums and even small water bottles. To waterproof the edges of a pvc pipe use an extra bead of silicone sealant as a fail-safe. Whichever container you choose, ensure to keep the following suggestions in mind:

  1. Keep your storage space in mind. The best storage space for survival supplies will be in a cool, dry location that features elevated shelving and is sealed against rodents.
  2. Disaster caches should stock enough water to last a set number of people for several days. Normally, a person needs 2-liters of water per day. If your cache is for an isolated cabin with a reliable water source, a distiller or carbon filtration system and boiler are more important than a large supply of bottled water.
  3. Select and purchase a wide variety of canned goods. Most vegetables, many fruits and all meats are best stored in canned form, and the typical canned food product has a shelf life measured in years. Note: ensure that you have a means of opening your canned goods or purchase canned goods that are of the “pop top” variety.
  4. Supplement the canned goods with a multi-vitamin.
  5. Stock coffee and tea. Or, if you have small children, consider storing some packages of kool-aid or powdered drink mixes. These treats will boost morale, and they have a long shelf life.
  6. Stock cooking oil and extra cooking fuel. These are critical for cooking in the long haul.
  7. Store dried grains, such as flour, rice and corn or corn meal. Beans are also a good idea. These items will last almost as long as the canned goods.
  8. Consider growing mushrooms. If you have a cool, dark space (such as the cellar of an old cabin) you can set up a mushroom farm and let it take care of itself for months at a time. This is the only food that can be put into a survival cache that will partially replenish itself.

Source [7]

So, what items would you stash away? Would they be day-to-day essentials like canned goods, freeze-dried foods or would you stash hunting gear so that you can hunt for wild game? Depending on the size of the container, you could also include other necessary supplies that will benefit your basic survival needs. For example, if you were burying a 50-gallon drum or a large water-proof ammunition container, you could bury a fully packed bug-out bag. Here are some ideas from a previous newsletter on evacuation readiness [8]. How great would it be to have everything you need for survival, just in case? Here are some other thoughts on what to store in a survival cache would be:

Choose the best survival cache container that fits your needs. Remember, you may need to solely rely on the contents in this container one day so be thorough when stocking it and keep track of where you hide it.

Preps to Buy:

Action Items:

  1. Have multiple evacuation routes planned in the instance that Plan A and Plan B do not work.
  2. Make list of what items you want to have in your survival cache.
  3. Find a good location, along the planned evacuation routes and bury or hide your survival cache.
  4. Practice getting to the survival cache using different modes of transportation to see how long it will take to get there.
  5. Create multiple caches if necessary.


In the Home:

It’s hard to see my home packed up in neat little boxes. Steadily, the stacks of boxes have grown and now they have taken over our living room and dining room. It’s time to move. It’s time for a new chapter and a new beginning. In all honesty, I’m a little frightened at this change. But, like all changes, we must accept them and adapt to our new environment.

From this newsletter, you all know that I’m a “list person.” For the last month or so, I have been making a long list of new goals and projects to do on the little ranch we are moving to. I look forward to sharing my accomplishments and mishaps and continue to grow in your preparedness journey.

Family Preps:

With my husband and son going on there trip across I am worrying about any roadside issues that may come up. As a precaution, I bought a Eton Road Torq [9] that is both a beacon and a spotlight.

In the Garden:

As Mara Beamish once said, “A garden always gives back more than it receives.” This garden season was very laxed for me. I didn’t prepare my soil, didn’t compost and didn’t even provide a support for the cucumbers and they grew like crazy.

As such, my family reaped the benefits of cucumbers and since we were growing tired of eating cucumbers, my kids and I walked around our neighborhood handing out the last cucumbers. I can’t tell you how nice it was to give to our neighbors. All week, the neighbors have been thanking us for our gift and insisting that if we had anymore, they would be happy to take them off our hands.

I have some poblano peppers that are ready to be picked and enjoyed. I plan on making my famous Baja fish taco sauce with them. The tomatoes are growing steadily, but I will have to pull up the plants before they will turn red. Looks like we will be having some fried green tomatoes with them.


 Why Your Water Filtration System May Be the Death of You [10]

What to Feed Your Micro-Livestock [11]

 The Easiest Sorbet Recipe EVER! [12]

Security in the Suburbs [13]

Suturing Deep Tissue Wounds With a Non-Surgical Needle [14]

5 Ways to Make Candles From Household Items [15]



It’s National Hurricane Preparedness Week again, and that means ensuring that you family is prepared for storm surges, inland flooding, tornadoes, high winds and all the other issues that go along with hurricanes.

  1. Familiarize yourself with hurricane terminology.
  2. Stay informed with local weather radio stations and national radio stations.
  3. Determine safe evacuation routes inland.
  4. Learn locations of official shelters.
  5. Check emergency equipment, such as flashlights, generators and battery-powered equipment such as cell phones and your NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards receiver.
  6. Buy non-perishable food
  7. Store plenty of water.
  8. Buy plywood or other material to protect your home if you don’t already have it.
  9. Trim trees and shrubbery so branches don’t fly into your home.
  10. Clear clogged rain gutters and downspouts.
  11. Decide where to move your boat.
  12. Review your insurance policy.
  13. Find pet-friendly hotels on your evacuation route.

To learn more about hurricanes and read more tips on what to do before, during and after a hurricane, click here [16].



Do you have a preparedness question? One of the perks of my job at Ready Nutrition is to address questions and/or concerns that you may have with your prepping endeavors. Feel free to ask anything that is on your mind because no question is too big or small. You can email questions to: getprepped@readynutrition.com [17]

This week’s question addresses baking bread from metal coffee cans:

Hi Tess,

I’m so anxious to make bread in coffee cans [18], especially for Christmas, but several sites say the cans have to be made of steel, not aluminum for health reasons. Also I have read that most cans now are aluminum; so my question is —–how do we know if anyone still makes steel coffee cans??



Hi G,

An old coffee can is perfectly safe–the steel cans were coated with tin inside and they were used regularly. Now that many of our aluminum cans are coated with a plastic coating, you want to avoid those or try to remove the plastic coating.

If you cannot find a can without the plastic liner, here are some suitable alternatives that I found:

  1. A Pyrex beaker works nicely–or the glass part of a French press coffee maker. (Put a round of parchment in the bottom to help with the release of the loaf.)
  2. Probably the best substitute is a terra cotta flower pot. Get an unglazed Italian terra cotta pot. Smear the business surfaces with something like Crisco, put it in a cold oven and heat to 450 (by increments if you like–some directions give it that way and others don’t), and after about 30 minutes, turn the oven off and let it cool in the oven, then rinse with water (not soap). Seasoning the pot in this way helps with the release of the loaf. Alternatively, line it with foil.
  3. Some potters sell glazed stoneware pots for flower pot bread, and they work fine, too. But I would avoid ordinary glazed pots as the glaze may be lead based which could leach into food.

Hope this helps,