Category Archives: __3. Food & Water

The Zeer pot emergency refrigerator

(Survival Manual/3. Food & Water/Zeer pot refrigerator)

A.  Zeer pot fridge
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How a clay pot refrigerator can help beat hunger
In hot climates, food doesn’t stay fresh for long. Tomatoes go off in just two days. After four days carrots and okra are rotten. With no means of preserving their crops, poverty-stricken families have been battling hunger and even famine.
One ingenious solution is the zeer pot. Using this simple technology, the same vegetable can last for up to 20 days. This all natural refrigerator offers families, who already succeed in food production, their right to food preservation and really can help to improve their everyday lives; for now and for the future.

A simple technology that brings fresh hope
The zeer pot is a simple fridge made of local materials. It consists of one earthenware [or metal] pot set inside a larger earthenware clay pot, with a layer of wet sand in between.
•  The space between the two pots is about 2 inches (50mm) on either side.
•  Moisture from a layer of wet sand allows for evaporation.  As the moisture evaporates it cools the inner pot, keeping up to 26 pounds of fruit and vegetables fresher for longer.
•  The pots should be covered with a ceramic lid or cloth. They should be kept in a well-ventilated area but out of direct sunlight. The pots worked best when they were stood on a metal frame that allowed air to circulate under them as well as around the sides.

B.  What: For less than $2 for a clay pot system to refrigerate up to 12 kg of produce
. [It may cost $2.00 in Africa, but not $2.00 in the USA, see my expense list and photos, below. Mr Larry]
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This is a relatively old story but a great one. In 2000 Mohammed Bah Abba was awarded the Rolex Award for Enterprise for his innovative Pot-in-Pot system to provide affordable, electricity free, refrigeration in arid Nigeria. Mohammed took an old local understanding of the cooling properties of evaporating water, combined it with the ancient tradition of making clay pots, and turned into a useful, world-changing innovation: a “desert refrigerator” that helps reduce food spoilage and increases income by increasing the shelf-life of farmers’ produce for sale.

Eggplants, for example, stayed fresh for 27 days instead of three, and tomatoes and peppers lasted for three weeks or more. African spinach, which usually spoils after a day, remained edible after 12 days in the Pot-in-Pot storage.”

The Pot-In-Pot system consists of two earthenware terracotta pots of different diameters, one placed inside the other. The space between the two pots is packed with sand, the sand is kept wet by pouring water into the sand about twice a day. Produce is placed within the inner pot and then covered with a damp cloth, and the system is left in a dry ventilated area. As the water in the sand evaporates throughout the day, the law of thermodynamics ensures the temperature in the inner pot drops. Our bodies use the same technique to keep us cool.

How well does it cool? Well,one quantitative study was performed in Ramona, CA by student Garret Rueda in his 2003 entry to the state Science Fair. Rueda found the average daily temperature drop inside the system was 23.5 F (4 C), keeping produce at 59F (15 C), while the outside temperature is 82.4F (28 C) .

Finally, the Rolex Awards Committee makes a great point about ideas vs. innovation in their article about the Pot-in-Pot award: “Good ideas are indeed rare, but good ideas that actually become good projects and bring lasting benefits are even rarer still,” In other words, an innovation is an idea that is brought to life and changes people’s lives.

C.  Off-Grid SHTF Survival: Ancient Technology for Refrigeration
September 25th, 2011, Tess Pennington
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As most of our readers understand, in a collapse, be it natural or man-made, there is a distinct possibility that we may experience a cascading power-failure from which there may be no recovery for the majority of the population for weeks or months at a time. You’ll have no way of keeping short-term perishable food fresh, especially meats. But what if you were able to create a refrigerator out of just sand, water and a couple of clay pots, giving you the ability to keep meat cool for a few days at a time? In our view, that could significantly alter your survival preparation plans for the better. In addition to food, for those with critical needs that require refrigeration of medicine, this could be a life saver. This ancient technique is one you’ll want to consider, test, and archive in your personal planning and preparedness strategies .

 SHTF Survival: Clay Pot Refrigeration
by Tess Pennington
Have you ever wondered what our ancestors did without refrigeration? How were they able to prevent their food from spoiling? Some of our ancient civilizations did in fact have refrigeration and used simple items they had on hand to create it.

The zeer clay pot refrigerator keeps food cool (icy cold) without electricity by using evaporative cooling. Essentially, a porous outer earthenware pot, lined with wet sand, contains an inner pot (which can be glazed to prevent penetration by the liquid) within which the food is placed. The evaporation of the outer liquid draws heat from the inner pot.

In a short or long-term disaster where power is out, knowing essential skills on how to prevent foods from spoiling as quickly, will help you survive longer and stay healthier. Further, having this simple device can also help you have a diverse diet during a disaster and prolong food fatigue. The best part is that making this device is incredibly cheap, very effective, and doesn’t require any electricity, which is perfect for those disasters where the power is affected and you have no fuel to power your generators.

All that is needed to create a clay pot refrigerator is two terra-cotta pots, one larger than the other, as well as some sand, water, and cloth. To make the “fridge”, you just put one pot inside the other, and fill up the spaces with wet sand, which keeps the inside of the pots cold. You will also need to put a wet towel over the top to keep the warm air and light from getting in.

Rather than re-inventing the wheel, perhaps we could learn a thing or two from our ancient ancestors. Using what they had available to them, our ancestors seemed to have many of the modern-day conveniences we have today.

D.  Impact of the  Zeer pot
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A zeer is constructed by placing a clay pot within a larger clay pot with wet sand in between the pots and a wet cloth on top. The device cools as the water evaporates, allowing food stored in the inner pot to be kept fresh for much longer in a hot, dry climate. It must be placed in a dry, ventilated space for the water to evaporate effectively towards the outside. Evaporative coolers tend to perform poorly or not at all in climates with high ambient humidity, since the water is not able to evaporate well under these conditions.

If there is an impermeable separation layer between the food and the porous pots, undrinkable water such as seawater can be used to drive the cooling process, without contaminating the food. This is useful in arid locations near the ocean where drinkable water is a limited commodity, and can be accomplished by using a pot that is glazed on the inner wall where the food is stored.
Extended operation is possible if the pots are able to draw water from a storage container, such as an inverted airtight jar, or if the pots are placed in a shallow pool of water.
Pot-in-pot refrigeration has had multiple positive impacts on the population that uses them beyond the simple ability to keep food fresh for longer periods of time and decreasing instances of food-related disease.
•  Increased profits from food sales: As there is no rush to sell food to avoid spoilage, farmers are able to sell their produce on demand and can command higher prices.
•  Increased opportunities for women: Women can sell food directly from their homes, decreasing their dependence on their husbands as sole providers. Also, because girls traditionally take food to market to sell, and because food in the zeer stays fresh long enough that they can go to market once a week rather than once a day, there is more time for them to attend school.
•  Rural employment opportunities: Farmers are able to support themselves with their increased profits at market, slowing the move into cities. Also, the creation of the pots themselves generates job opportunities.
•  Increased diet variety because food is available for longer into the year.

Food  –    Refrigerated shelf life  –  Shelf life with zeer

Carrots                  4 days                                   20 days
Eggplant            1-2 days                                   21 days
Guava                    2 days                                   20 days
Meat                       1 day                                   ~14 days
Okra                      4 days                                    17 days
Rocket                   1 day                                        5 days
Tomatoes             2 days                                    20 days

E.  Mr. Larry’s Zeer pot emergency  refrigerator
Parts list:
1) 16″ terra cotta clay pot, Home Depot, $19.98.
2) stock pot, IMUSA, aluminum, 16 qt covered pot with tempered glass lid, Wal-Mart, $19.94
3) plastic ‘cover’ Lowes Garden center, $14.04 (this was an 18″ tray that normally sit s under a pot)
4) bath towel, Wal-Mart, $2.97
5) Quikrete Play sand, #50 lbs, Lowes, $3.28

(Photos above: (L) My zeer pot. I’m using an aluminum interior pot. It’s felt that a thin metal interior pot will cool your perishables faster and maintain a lower temperature than a terra-cotta  interior pot. Also shown is a 50 lb bag of sand and a cheap towel that would be wetted and used to cover the pot when in use. The aluminum pot came with a glass top and I bought an 18″ plastic flower-pot base which is being used as a cover. (R) My zeer set up along side the house. To a passer-by who happens to see it, the zeer pot looks like a simple planter that’s being used as a ‘table’ for a smaller planter. Meanwhile, my zeer is set up and ready for use. The frig is currently sitting on three bricks, raised a couple of inches off the ground. On my next trip to Lowes or Home Depot, I’ll buy a short metal planter stand to set it 6-12 above the ground to increase the opportunity for draft, hence evaporation, across the bottom of the pot.

Photo above: (L) A home-made zeer pot using two nestled terra-cotta pots. (R) A native zeer showing a  quantity of tomatoes and green string beans being cooled.


The following YouTube video link demonstrates the construction of a zeer pot frig and goes on to test the temperature drop within the interior pot:

(end of article)

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Pine Needle Tea – Vitamin C

 (Survival Manual/ 3. Food & Water/ Pine Needle Tea-Vitamin C)

 A Native Cure for Scurvy (or just because you’d like some tea)
As survivors, we take pride in our ability to live where others might fail. Sometimes one small detail can make the difference between life and death.
To fully utilize the bountiful resources nature provides requires knowledge and experience. And in any survival environment the best place to get that is from the people who call it home. The following is a case study.

In late 1535, the French explorer Jacques Cartier and his men became ice-bound near present day Quebec, Canada while attempting to sail downriver to the Atlantic Ocean. They built a fort and were forced to hunker down for the long northern winter.
Short on supplies, by December, scurvy took a heavy toll and over 50 men died. All of those who managed to hold on to life were so weak as to be of little use in fending off the angry Iroquois Indians who surrounded them. And winter had only just started.

Indian Cure for Scurvy
In desperation Cartier sought out the son of an Iroquois Chief, Dom Agaya, and asked him how it was that the Indians stayed healthy while all his own men were falling to scurvy.
Fortunately for Cartier, Dom Agaya shared the secret.
The means of survival for Cartier’s men was close at hand the entire time. Dom Agaya simply pulled a few needles from the closest white cedar tree (some say a pine) and boiled them into tea. When Cartier and his men drank this pine tea they almost immediately felt better. Within eight days the entire tree had been stripped bare and all the men were cured of scurvy.
You see, Pine needles contain five times the amount of vitamin C, as lemons, for the cure of scurvy.

How to make Pine Tea, the Native American Cure for Scurvy
•  Grab a handful of pine needles, about 1/4 cup is all you need.
•  Place in boiling water for ten to fifteen minutes.
•  Add lemon and honey if available.
You now have 100% of the US RDA requirement for vitamin C.
Drink up and enjoy your woodsy brew, it tastes and smells like the pine forest from which it came.

So there you have it – as long as there is an evergreen tree handy, the knowledgeable survivor will never suffer from scurvy. And what became of the Indians who helped Jacques Cartier and his men survive that terrible winter of 1535 – 1536? Cartier kidnapped Dom Agaya, his father the Chief, and several others and brought them to France where they died. The photos above show how to make Pine Needle tea; 1, 2, 3.

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Throwing sticks

(Survival Manual/3. Food & Water/Throwing sticks)

The throwing stick is one of the first weapons used by early humans and cultures all around the world. In essence, it is a short stave or wooden club thrown as a projectile to hunt small game such as rabbits or waterfowl. In flight, it rotates rapidly cracking the target with one of the ends and either maiming or killing it.

As a survival tool, the throwing stick is one of the most effective and easiest tools to obtain. Other than a weapon, it can also be used as a digging tool for making fire-pits and underground shelter. A curved limb will suffice as a throwing stick. Ancient throwing sticks were believed to be made of hardwood with a weighted or curved end to one side to impart momentum so the stick stays straight and does not wobble in mid-flight.

[Image at right: Ancient Egyptian throwing sticks.]

All throwing sticks and their variations are about 2 to 3 feet long pieces of thick hardwood, usually about the circumference of the user’s wrist. When they are thrown, they spin, creating the image of a sort of blurry disc.

 A well designed throwing stick uses the principles of an airfoil shape and gyroscopic stability; the oldest of these dates back 200,000 years to ancient Poland. The Australian hunting boomerang, used into modern times, uses the bent shape and a symmetric airfoil cross-section to provide stability and low drag for long, accurate throws. Most throwing sticks do not return, a good thing, since they are large, heavy, and dangerous. Throwing sticks of both the non-returning and returning variety, have been found in many ancient cultures, ranging from Egypt to North America.

[Above, an Egyptian hunting water fowl with throwing sticks in a marsh, image from a ca. 1350BC hieroglyph.]

In the worst possible outdoor scenario such as a survival setting, utilizing throwing sticks can not only keep you from going hungry, but can keep you alive until rescue. Although the use of throwing sticks in modern times is extremely limited, in the days of old they were very popular. In their truest sense throwing sticks are an art form, but for a stranded outdoor person they are simple to make and with a very brief period of practice they can produce moderately good results. Throwing sticks are very good for killing small game such as rabbits, squirrels and water fowl, and should be immediately incorporated into every survival situation at the earliest opportunity.

Emergency throwing stick:  A basic throwing stick can be fashioned from a dead tree branch about the thickness of a human wrist, and the length of the person using the stick’s arm from armpit to finger tips. A stick of the appropriate thickness but of excessive length can be broken easily by using a standing forked tree as a lever. In this manner making a throwing stick does not involve any tools, utilizes fallen and dry timber, and saves the precious energy of the individual in a difficult circumstance. Once a throwing stick is made it should be kept with the person at all times, simply because one never knows when an opportunity will present itself to come upon prey.

Use: The techniques used in actually throwing the sticks are self-explanatory, and no more difficult than throwing a baseball or football. Obviously, when hunting it helps to get as close to the target as is possible in a stealthy manner to augment accuracy. The stick should rest on the shoulder, with the hand on the other end. The throwing sticks can be released in a diagonal, vertical or horizontal manner – whichever is most comfortable for the user. The horizontal throw is preferred for ducks or geese on sitting water, as the stick has a greater chance of finding success when it skips off the water. In every case, the throwing stick will spin end over end striking the prey with good force. It is important to move in quickly on game that is hit, as it may only be stunned and might get away.

 The throwing stick
Variations of the throwing stick or rabbit stick can be found in many cultures all over the world, also known as a throwing club, throwing wood, baton, kylie, or the well-known returning and non-returning boomerangs of the Australian aborigine’s. Used for hunting small mammals and birds, typically made from medium or hardwood, 12 to 24 inches in length with one end either weighted by a thicker heavier section or a curve. This extra weight or curve imparts momentum to the stick when thrown, increasing flight stability. I don’t fully understand the physics and subtleties of the various different designs, but there seems to be four basic styles:
1)  club,
2)  equal single bend (a stretched ‘V’ shape, less   than 45 degrees),
3)  unequal single bend (a stretched ‘L’ shape) and
4)  double bend (a stretched ‘Z’ shape), examples are shown in the figure at right.

From reading around and searching the web, you don’t normally see a straight, constant diameter throwing stick, the exception to this is when metal, typically lead is used to weight one end.
Throwing sticks having a bend are normally thinned downed flat i.e. a bi-convex or thin oval, improving their aerodynamic profile, reducing weight, therefore, allowing them to travel greater distances.
This profile is optimized for the returning boomerang, forming an aerofoil profile i.e. a flat bottom and a curved top, allowing the boomerang to generate lift.
A common characteristic of these throwing sticks is that their edges are thinned down to a point, concentrating the kinetic energy on impact.

Club type throwing sticks have a solid bulge, protuberance e.g. circular or oval, at one end and tend to be shorter than curved throwing sticks. Again the club end may be pointed to concentrating the kinetic energy on impact e.g. pointed, forked, tear drop or conical.

How to throw
Throwing sticks with a bend are thrown using an overhand, sideways throwing action, imparting a spinning motion on the stick. This sideways spinning flight path increases the probability of making contact with the target. Some quotes on using throwing sticks:
•  “ The throwing arm moved with a broad sweep using the whole arm but with some degree of wrist snap at the end of the action”
•  “First, align the target by extending the non-throwing arm in line with the mid to lower section of the target. Slowly and repeatedly raise the throwing arm up and back until the throwing stick crosses the back at about a 45-degree angle or is in line with the non-throwing hip. Bring the throwing arm forward until it is just slightly above and parallel to the non-throwing arm. This will be the throwing stick’s release point.”
•  “The throwing wood is a crooked piece of wood, which is able to fly with or without having a grip. Generally it is thrown and then rotates in the air, but occasionally it also can be used as a club. Unlike the throwing club, the throwing wood does not concentrate on the effect of hitting. Only the variant which returns to the thrower is called a boomerang.”
•  “Such a basic club can be thrown either overhand (when, for instance, you’re trying to hit the side of a tree) or sidearm (when you’re in an open area, where brush won’t interfere with the stick’s flight). In using the first method, point your left foot at the target (if you’re a right-hander southpaws can simply reverse these directions). Then, holding the smaller end of the stick loosely in your right hand, bring the weapon back over your shoulder and hurl it, with good end-over-end spin, straight at the mark. At the moment of release, your shoulders should face the target squarely. The sidearm throw is similar to the motion used in stroking a tennis ball with the racket. Point the left toe at the target, bring the stick to a cocked position at your side, and throw it, squaring your shoulders and snapping the club as if you were cracking a whip to give it spin.”
“What I remember from Tom’s class was to pick a stick that was the length of the distance from your armpit to your wrist, and about 2 inches around. Such a stick will weigh between 2 and 3 pounds. If you throw it at any animal, any hit will break something, like a rib. We learned both an overhand throw, and a sidearm throw, where we would actually bounce the stick off the ground just short of the target, so it would bounce up and take the target out. On rabbits which sit so close to the ground, this particularly throw is used, unless there is brush between you and the sitting rabbit.”

Club type throwing sticks can be thrown using a more targeted throwing action. Again, thrown using an overhand throwing motion, however, this time no sideways spin is used i.e. the club is thrown straight, heavy end first, this end making contact with the target. The handle increasing leverage and speed allowing the club to be thrown further and faster. Some books suggest that a twisting flick should be added just before release i.e. rotating the club in line with the directions of travel, improving its stability in flight.

Making a throwing stick

[Photos above are of an equal length, single bend throwing stick. The equal length single bend throwing stick is cut down and  shaped using an axe and wood rasp then sanded to give a more aerodynamic profile.]

To make a throwing stick that contains a bend the simplest solution is find a piece of wood with a suitable natural bend, although this is sometimes easier said than done. However, as this type of throwing stick is normally thinned down to a flat profile, any unwanted bends or bumps can be minimized or removed completely with a bit of judicious trimming.

When a suitable piece of wood cannot be found the wood can be formed into a curve by heating and bending. One technique I’ve read about is to heat green wood over hot coals to make it pliable, then placed it between two rocks, placing a heavy pressure rock on top to form the bend. Alternatively the wood could be steamed to make it more flexible, removed from the rocks when cooled.

[Above: Long single bend throwing sticks: Length~25 inches, Width ~1-1/2 inch, Thickness ~ 1/2 to 3/4 inch. The bend is naturally formed and further shaped to improve its aerodynamic profile.]

Comparing these throwing sticks with some traditional non-returning Australian aboriginal boomerangs from the central desert, they may need to be thinned down a little more. However, some examples from Tasmania and eastern Australia are of a similar size (or a little bigger) i.e. approx 2.5 feet long and 1 inch wide tapering at the ends slightly. Not sure what the best balance between weight, width and aerodynamic profile is. Note, its common to have scratches or shallow groves carved into one end, to form a non-slip grip.

To assess the performance of each of these throwing sticks they were tested at various distances. The equal length single bend throwing stick, flew like a lead balloon. Over short distances it was ok, but as it slowed down it would lose stability allowing the broad face to flip-up, causing it to fall out of the air. To improve its flight path stability the stick’s width and thickness were reduced.
This problem highlights the conflicting requirements involved in making a throwing stick i.e. to produce a flat, stable, long flight path requires a light weight, thin stick, however, to increase impact force requires a weighted, heavy, thick stick. Increasing a sticks weight can also have a negative effect on its throwing distance, requiring the release angle to be increased (relative to the ground) to improve distance.

[Short range club throwing stick. Length~12 inches,  handle width ~1 inch,  head diameter ~3 inches.]

I had the chance to experiment with a couple of different throwing sticks recently. The environment in which I used them included a mix of terrains, from fields, open wood land to dense forest. From practicing with these sticks, I’ve come to the conclusion that I need a lot more practice and that trees seem to have a strange magnetic attraction on throwing sticks i.e. doesn’t seem to matter what you aim a,t a tree always gets in the way. I found the larger heavier throwing sticks are more difficult to aim, either releasing them too early or too late, overshooting or undershooting the target. I’m guessing this is due to the large amount of physical force / movement required in throwing these sticks i.e. a long arm swing and body twist, rather than a quick sharp arm / wrist flick.

The advantage of the larger sticks is that the area covered by its rotational plane is significantly bigger than that of a smaller throwing stick, therefore, somewhat compensating for this aiming difficulty. Even so I still found it more difficult to consistently hit a target with this type of stick.

Another disadvantage of the longer throwing stick is when you are in woodland i.e. finding a flight path through the trees. In these situation you have to throw the stick in the vertical plane to avoid the trees, limiting the advantage of this longer length. In woodlands, a shorter throwing stick is easier to use (and carry.

Mr. Larry’s throwing sticks, 2011

[The photographs above are my throwing sticks. In order to compare before and after images, the top 4 sticks in the top photograph are also the top 4 finished sticks in the lower photograph.]

The tools I used to form my throwing sticks were: hammer and chisel, small hatchet, 4-1/2 inch small angle electric grinder, bench vise, wood hasp with plastic handle, several grade of sand paper. I’d estimate it took between 2-3 hours from start to finish for each throwing stick. The use of a band saw, which I did not have, would have reduced the labor time considerably.

In the lower image (top to bottom): Throwing sticks #1-#3 have been cut to shaped and sanded flat on the top and bottom surface, while remaining at least ¾ inch thick. #5 is thin, about ½ inches thick and several inches wide. #1 – #3 and #5 are flat on the bottom with tops slightly beveled on the forward and trailing edge. In cross-section they somewhat resemble an airplane wing. These four are meant to be thrown like a boomerang with the snap of the wrist so they whirl in horizontal flight toward their target.

#4 is a short-range club throwing stick, meant for direct body impact, as opposed to leg injury as  the whirley-wings shown above.

#6 on the bottom is a striking club, with a somewhat pointed nose and rounded heal. This would dispatch a small animal up through medium size dog.

The wood for these throwing sticks were sawn from fallen tree limbs in the woods where I walk. The wood might be oak, but I’m not sure what trees lost what limbs during the storm. My ‘sticks’ , except the short-range club, measure about 22 inches long (wrist to armpit). On most I’ve either filed grooves into, or wrapped twine or cord on the handle end. All were stained dark oak and subsequently given a couple of coats of polyurethane spray to toughen the wood and for preservation. The twine handles were additionally painted with a generous coat of liquid polyurethane.
I made two additional  throwing sticks, similar to #1 & #3 in shape, which were not finished and are used for target practice on occasion when I’m doing walking exercises.

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Bread and cracker

(Survival manual/3. Food & water/Bread & cracker)

 Trail breads for home, camping or a survival situation
← For when & where there is no power →


 Ash Cakes, A slightly cinnamon tasting, sweet trail bread.

1   cup self rising flour 3   tsp cane (brown) sugar)
1/3   cup whole wheat flour 1/3   cup raisins (or other dried fruit)
¼   cup diced pecans (or other nuts) 4-5   Sprinkles of cinnamon
½   tsp salt  

Mix dry ingredients above , then slowly add no more than 2/3 cup warm water, stirring until the mix consolidates into dough. Knead with fingers and slowly add more flour until the mixture is no longer sticky. Make into about 6-8 hand size cakes. May be fried in a very lightly greased pan (I use a griddle-lp) or cooked on tin foil over medium heat or campfire coals. Turn when one side is browned and cook the other.

When served: Butter and cover a with jam or honey. The name, Ash Cakes, makes them sound wild and wooly, but they actually go very well with a breakfast at home.
Recipe from the book: The Modern Hunter Gatherer: A Practical Guide To Living Off the Land

Bannock, An excellent trail bread.
Ingredients: (premixed for convenience)

3/4 cup flour ~1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp baking powder  

Build your fire and let it burn down to coals, start heating your 7″+ fry pan.

Mix flour, baking powder and salt, the slowly add water and mix into a stiff dough. Don’t add too much water as you want it like bread dough not like a thin pancake mix. Lightly coat pan with butter or cooking oil. Add dough to medium hot pan and spread it to the size of pita bread. Cook one side until it won’t break in half when turned, then flip over and cook the other side. Add a little more butter or oil. The bread will rise 1/2 to 3/4  of its wet size. Check for doneness by sticking it with a sliver of wood until no dough sticks to it.
From the book: Buckshot’s Complete Survival Trapping Guide


Oat Scones, Served for breakfast with an eggs, melon or fruit. Slice the one to eat lengthwise and spread with your favorite jam. A tasty breakfast supplement whose leftovers are excellent snacks.

2 cups flour 2 Tbsp. sugar
2 cups oats *2/3 cup cooking oil
1 scant Tbsp. salt 1 cup milk
1 Tbsp. baking soda 1 cup fruit, i.e. raisins or chopped apple

* Reduced fat recipe: Replace 2/3 cup cooking oil with- 1/3 cup cooking oil and 1/3 cup applesauce and 1/2 apple peeled and chopped.

Mix dry ingredients. Add milk and oil. Mix with a fork to a soft dough. Pat out on a floured surface to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut into triangles or squares of about 2-1/2 inches on a side. and bake at 400°F for 15 minutes or until brown. Makes 15 to 20. Oat scones are a cross between a biscuit and a crunchy bread. Oat scones are very good warm. Butter and coat with honey  or jam. Recipe makes easily enough for two people for 2-3 breakfasts bread replacement.

Making Bread When the Power is Out
“Early on in my survival preparations, I bought lots of whole wheat flour and yeast packets for bread making. Flour is a lot cheaper than MRE’s and it takes up less space. Then one day my wife said, “If a disaster happens and the power is out, how are you going to bake bread?” Great question! And I felt pretty stupid because I didn’t have an answer. After a little research, I learned that as long as you can get a fire going, there are many things you can do with your bread ingredients.

Fry It: Donuts are just fried bread and sugar. Simply mix the dough as instructed and let it rise. Instead of forming a loaf, split it into two large pieces and pat them down until they’re about a 1/2 inch thick. Now let them rise again until them rise until they’re a full inch thick. Meanwhile, heat a pan of oil over your fire and when the bread is read, slip one of the pieces into the pan. When the bottom is brown, flip it over and fry the other side. Repeat with the other piece. When your bread is ready, drain off the excess oil, tear off a piece and enjoy. A little butter and honey or syrup and some powdered sugar will make them a delicious treat that is good anytime, whether you’re in a disaster scenario or not.

Boil it: Bagels are bread that is boiled and then baked. First form your dough into a bagel shape and let it rise. While you’re waiting, get a fire going and place a pot of water over it. When the dough has doubled in size and the water is boiling rapidly, slip your bagels into the water. When the bread is firm, remove it and let it dry. Finally, fry the bagels in a lightly oiled skillet. This creates a crust and improves the taste.

Bake it: Yes, not everything has to be baked in an oven. All that is necessary is heat from above and below. This can be done with most outdoor grills, but if your grill doesn’t have a cover, just use a bucket or something similar to capture the heat and direct down toward the bread. You’ll want as much heat coming from above as below, which means you don’t want your bread to be too close to the flame. Try putting something underneath the bread pan such as a brick. If you don’t have a grill, create a makeshift oven. First put the bottom pan on some warm coals. Then put a lid, baking sheet, or another pan on top. Finally, stack some hot coals on top, Dutch oven style.”

Baking bread in a Solar oven
Makes a 1.5 lb loaf of braided white bread:

Ingredients: Add to mixing pan,
1 cup water
3-1/4 cups flour
3 Tbsp sugar
1-1/2 Tbsp dry milk
1-1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp butter
2 tsp Rapid Rise yeast

Remove the dough to a lightly floured surface and cut it into 3 equal size sections. Roll each section into a snake approximately 18 inches long. Connect the three snakes at the top and braid, then shape the braid into a ring.

Place the braided ring into a buttered baking pan and cover with a hot, damp towel. Let the dough rise in a warm place for about 45 minutes, until it has almost doubled in volume. Just before baking, baste the dough’s top surface with margarine.
[Images above: Left: My Global Solar Oven, shown baking a 1-1/2 lb loaf of bread.  The reflector panels are highly     reflective, anodized aluminum. The oven is both set up and taken down in 30 seconds.
Right: A 1-1/2 pound loaf of bread, just baked in the solar oven.  A process that was easier and more effective than I imagined.]

Cover and bake in the solar oven  for about 1-1/2 hours, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. My loaf completed baking in 1 hours 20 minutes, at 300°F, with a lid on the baking pot. After baking and while still warm, the loaf crust was basted with margarine again.

When the process was finished, the oven wiped down and put away, I sat for a moment to think about my first two solar cooking experiences.  I was surprised at how easily and effectively the oven had baked both a chicken and a loaf of bread. The process was so easy, that on a clear day, anyone could cook with solar heat. I found baking in the solar oven easier than baking in a household electric oven, where timing seemed more critical. With the solar oven, when the appropriate cooking temperature for meat was reached, it’s was done; when the bread dough steamed, then developed a golden crust and becomes dry inside, it was done.

The solar oven could consecutively used to bake a chicken (3 hours) and a loaf of bread (1.5 hours) during one sunny day; starting at 9:00AM, the items would be finished just after 1:30PM.

My records from baking that first loaf of bread in the Global Solar Oven

Time Oven air temperature Notes
10:20 AM 302°F Preheated solar oven. Began baking dough, inside a covered oblong roasting pan.
10:40 305°F  
11:10 300°F Steam escaping covered baking pan and fogging oven window. Unlatched door to allow a slight draft which eliminated condensation. Bread is browning nicely.
11:30 300°F  
11:50 300°F Bread baked. Crust is brown and crunchy. Interior dry. Removed from   oven after 1 hour 30 minutes of baking; the loaf  was probably finished after 1 hour 20 minutes. Shook from baking pan and set on wire rack, basted hot bread with margarine and allowed to cool.


It’s estimated that the first bread was made around 10,000 years BC and was more than likely flatbread, made simply of ground grains (flour) and water that was mashed and baked.

Flat Bread is an unleavened bread usually made without yeast, it ‘s flat, not fluffy,  hence its name. Flat Bread is rolled into various thicknesses and cooked either by baking or roasting on the griddle. Basic flat bread dough is made using flour, water and salt. (Yeast is used at times, to make flat breads that use whole wheat flour.)

Other ingredients can be added for a particular taste, such as;
•  1/2 tsp quantities of a herb, or
•  1/2 tsp of spice (basil, chili powder, curry powder, black pepper…),
•  up to 1/2 cup of a precooked vegetables (onion, bell pepper, diced jalapenos…),
•  minced meat, or
•  1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, or
•  1/2 cup chopped nuts,
•  1-3 tsp sugar,
•  olive oil or sesame oil, etc.

This is a great, easy flat bread recipe that makes a delicious side dish to any meal. These can be used for making pita sandwiches, pizza or pretty much anything.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 20 minute
Yield: Makes 6 or 8 breads

•  3 cups all purpose flour  (or use Self Rising flour and skip the Baking Powder or Baking Soda)
•  1 cup water
•  3 tablespoons cooking oil /shortening
•  1 teaspoon salt,
•  2 teaspoons baking powder
•  pinch of baking soda
•  Any extra ingredients are added to the flat bread dough for flavor and to create variety. Some flat breads are even stuffed (see list above)

Combine the dry ingredients then add the water and form into a dough. Use small amounts of flour to keep the dough from being too sticky.
2.  Form dough balls a little larger than a golf ball.
3.  Roll dough into a circle about 1/8 inch thick-a thin round disk 5-7 inches in diameter.
4.  Prick the surface of the dough with a fork and cook on an oiled, medium heat griddle/skillet.
5.  Turn with a spatula. Watch these flat bread disks closely because they cook fast. Serve warm.


Soda crackers
•  2 cups flour
•  1/2 cup butter (or margarine)
•  3/8 cup milk (3 oz)
•  1/2 teaspoon vinegar
•  1/4 teaspoon baking soda
•  1/4 teaspoon salt

Work the butter into the flour with a fork or pastry cutter.
2.  To the milk, add the vinegar, baking soda, and salt. Then add this to the butter-flour mixture.
3.  Form the dough into a ball.
4.  Roll out the dough very thin – directly onto a flat non-greased baking sheet, make it in a rectangle or square as much as possible.
5.  Next, place a ruler on the dough, and perforate the dough along the side of the ruler with a fork (Scoring the dough to the size of the cracker you desire). With a fork, poke 4 sets of holes in each cracker.
6.  Wipe the top surface with a little water on your finger and lightly sprinkle with salt.
7.  Bake the crackers at 375° F for about 12 to 15 minutes or until crisp. The crackers should not get too brown, just a sprinkling of brown on top.
8.  Remove from oven and cool, cut along score marks into cracker sizes. If not crisp, bake an additional 10 min at 360° F.

297 calories, 16g fat, 33g carbohydrates, 5g protein per serving.
This recipe makes 12 crackers

Graham Crackers
•  2 cup  Whole wheat flour
•  1/4 tsp  Salt
•  1/4 tsp  Baking powder
•  1/4 tsp  Cinnamon
•  3 Tbls  Butter
•  1/8 cup  Honey
•  1/8 cup water

Sift together flour, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon into a bowl.
•  Melt together the butter and honey. Pour into dry ingredients
•  Mix with a fork, then push the dough together with your hands. Don’t knead or over mix.
•  Place the dough on a well-floured surface, and roll it out very thin, with a well-floured rolling pin to not more than 1/8 inch thick.
•  Cut rectangles (approximately 1-1/4 x 3 inches) with a knife, and prick them with a fork.
•  Place on a lightly-greased baking tray, and bake for just 10 minutes in a 375 degrees F. oven.
•  Cool on a rack. Tends to continue drying as it sits.


Wasa Crispbread: for everyday use and as an emergency bread reserve.
Crispbread has been baked in Sweden by Wasabröd since 1919, and is now sold in over 40 countries around the world. The crispbread dates back to medieval times when it was baked in Sweden and Finland to preserve the crop over the long and cold winters.
Wasabröd crisp bread has a shelf-life of approximately 12 months under normal storage conditions.

Wasa Crispbreads are a healthy alternative to loaf bread and are available in a variety of flavors. They have the  crisp texture of a cracker, are made with whole grains and low in fat, and they leave you feeling satisfied. When eaten with other nutrient-rich foods, they become part of a healthy diet packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber and other nutrients.  They are versatile, healthy and delicious, and can be eaten instead of bread at breakfast, lunch and dinner, or as a light snack. You can use the crisp breads to replace crackers with soups, salads, or for your favorite toppings. You can combine the crunch of Wasa Crispbread with spreads, meat, cheese, or fruits and vegetables. Just consider them somewhere between a slice of bread and a cracker, a tasty food product that can also be stored for a year.

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Filed under Survival Manual, __3. Food & Water

Freeze Dried Foods

(Survival manual/3. Food & Water/Freeze dried foods)

Product and cost examples of freeze dried, long term emergency foods in nitrogen packed, #10 cans.

Why store food?
Keeping food on hand for emergencies protects you the same way insurance on your home, or auto does. With Mountain House freeze-dried foods in your food reserve, you’ll be ready for just about any unexpected crisis. In today’s turbulent times of uncertainty (i.e. frequency of natural and man-made disasters and more), there has never been a better time to get a ‘food insurance policy’ of long storing foods and preparedness supplies. In fact, the investment you make today may become one of the most important and valuable investments you will ever make!

Imagine what a life saver these foods will be when your electric power is knocked out for several days by a severe storm. With Mountain House on hand and a one burner stove or candle to heat water (cold water can be used in a pinch), you can enjoy a hot delicious gourmet tasting meal in less that 10 minutes. Having your own private food reserve makes a lot of sense–now more than ever before. The peace-of-mind and security that comes from having your food reserve is potentially priceless!

Could you survive a food shortage?
If food supplies were interrupted for any variety of reasons ( i.e. crashes of grocery store computers or computerized delivery systems, a natural disaster, civil unrest riots, trucker strike, etc.), existing store supplies would disappear within hours. No amount of money in the bank could put food on your table…for sure not the kind you enjoy today. And how about those credit cards and ATM cards–if the power is out or computer lines are down you’ll be on your own. This does not need to ever happen to you or your family. All you need to do is simply take a few prudent steps today and get prepared with your own food reserves.

A partial list of Mountain House Freeze Dried Food in #10 Can (cost/can as of July 2011)
#10 cans have a volume of 1 gallon.

– Diced Chicken, $48.39
– Seafood Chowder, $38.49
– Beef Stroganoff, $26.99
– Beef Teriyaki, $33.90
– Chicken Stew, $35.99
– Chicken Teriyaki, $29.99
– Chili Mac w/Beef, $25.49
– Hearty Stew w/Beef, $33.49
– Lasagna w/ Meat & Sauce, $34.49
– Macaroni & Cheese, $28.99
– Noodles & Chicken, $31.79
– Oriental Spicy Chicken, $35.29.
– Rice & Chicken, $22.99
– Spaghetti w/ Meat, $23.99
– Sweet & Sour Pork w/Rice, $38.79
– Turkey Tetrazzini, $35.91
– Vegetable Stew w/Beef, $28.99
– Chicken a la King, $35.99
– Wild Rice Mushroom Pilaf, $30.49
– Super Sweet Corn, $21.49
– Pasta Primavera, $31.99
– Diced Chicken, $48.39
– Diced Beef, $51.25
– Breakfast Skillet, $33.99
– Granola w/Blueberries & Milk, $38.29
– Precooked Eggs w/ Bacon, $31.89
– Blueberry Cheesecake, $24.19
– Raspberry Crumble, $23.59 Out of stock..
– Sliced Bananas,$25.69
– Sliced Strawberries, $29.49
– Pilot Bread Crackers,$20.29
Fruits and Vegetables 
– Super Sweet Corn, $21.49
– Tender Cut Green Beans, $23.69
– Tender Sweet Green Peas, $20.99
– White Rice, $17.99

‘Ultimate’ Year Supply of Food Storage in #10 CANS.
Price: $3,499.95
Item Usually Ships in 1-2 Weeks

Site Advertisement:
If you’re going to prepare for an emergency, you might as well do it right. And there is no better way to stock up on your food storage than by ordering The Ready Store’s Ultimate Year Supply of Freeze-Dried Food. This product has every essential that you will need to fulfill all your nutrition needs during a disaster. If you want a 100% complete year’s worth of gourmet-tasting foods, then you’re going to want the full 3 meals per day as well as the vegetables, fruits, breakfast foods, and other goods this package has to offer!
Not only does it have some of every main course entrée available, but this Ultimate Year Supply is also composed of the best food freeze-drying technology can make. This means that you won’t have to waste time cooking when you could be doing more important things during a disaster. Freeze-dried foods also mean that your food storage will remain fresh up to 30 years, giving you peace of mind and real, tangible security. Since this is the longest lasting of all our year-supply packages, you and your family can enjoy knowing that you are ready for whatever life could throw at you. And since all 144 #10 cans are packed into 24 easy-to-store cases, you won’t have to worry about not having enough room to store them all the time.

Breakfast (18 Cans | 485 Servings) A variety of the following entrees:
Scrambled Eggs
Scrambled Eggs & Sausage Crumbles
Granola with Blueberries & Milk
Strawberry Flavored Fortified Instant Breakfast
Chocolate Flavored Fortified Instant Breakfast
Apple Cinnamon Granola
Maple & Brown Sugar Creamy Wheat Cereal
Peaches & Cream Oatmeal

Lunch & Dinner Entrees (48 Cans | 788 Servings)  A variety of the following entrees:
Beef Stew
Chicken A La King
Noodles & Chicken
Chicken Teriyaki
Long Grain & Wild Rice Pilaf
Rice & Chicken
Beef Stroganoff
Chili Mac with Beef
Spaghetti with Meat Sauce
Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo
Hearty Beef Rotini
Bacon Potato Chowder
Creamy Tortilla Soup
Broccoli Cheddar Soup
Mountain Man Stew
Oriental Sweet & Sour
Santa Fe Chili
Shanghai Teriyaki
Macaroni & Cheese
Pasta Primavera
Pasta Parmesan

Vegetables (18 Cans | 432 Servings) A variety of the following entrees:
6 Cans Super Sweet Corn
6 Cans Garden Green Peas
6 Cans Green Beans

Fruit (12 Cans | 248 Servings) A variety of the following entrees:
2 Cans Diced Cinnamon Apples
2 Cans Strawberry Slices
2 Cans Banana Slices
2 Cans Diced Peaches
2 Cans Mango Chunks
2 Cans Diced Apples

Sides (6 Cans | 144 Servings):
6 Cans Instant White Rice

Snacks (12 Cans | 840 Servings):
12 Cans Pilot Crackers

Drinks (30 Cans | 2,640 Servings):
12 Cans Instant Orange Drink Mix
12 Cans Instant Apple Drink Mix
6 Cans Instant Peach Drink Mix

Occasionally Items may be substituted with similar items of equal or greater value due to availability. Calorie and serving count may vary plus or minus 5% depending on substituted items.

Total Items: 144
Weight (lbs): 430
Free Shipping: Yes
Supply Type: Shelter-in-Place
Supply Duration: 1-Year, 1 person
Needs Supplied: Food & Nutrition
Estimated Shelf Life: 20-30 Years
Brand: Saratoga Farms & Mountain House
Calories/Day: 1,866
Dimensions: 19 x 12 x 8
Estimated Shelf Life (Opened Container): 6-12 Months
Total Calories: 681,032
Allergen & Specialty: Shellfish Free
Water Required (gal): 281
Packaging: #10 Can
Food Type: Long-Term Supply Kits
Storage Requirements: To achieve maximum shelf life, store in an environment with a temperature of 60°F or lower and humidity of 10% or less. Shelf life statements are based on industry standards and relevant studies from reliable sources. The Ready Store disclaims any liability or warranty as actual shelf life results may vary depending on individual storage conditions.
Total Servings: 5,493


Filed under __3. Food & Water