Preserving Food: 4 Skills You Need to Know

Putting food on your shelves is something everyone should be doing. Stuffing the refrigerator and freezer with a lot of meat and ready-to-eat meals is not going to do you a lot of good when the power goes out. The idea is to have non-perishable foods in an emergency pantry that will allow you and your family to eat and have what they need to survive.

You don’t have to buy all of the food you put on your shelves from the grocery store. It is no secret the cost of food is constantly on the rise and it can be very difficult to buy enough food to put on the table today, let alone put away enough food to last your family several months. Learning home preservation methods will help you save money by buying food in its raw state in bulk and then preserving it.

Growing a garden, raising your own livestock and hunting are also ideal ways to load the pantry for a fraction of the price at the grocery store.

Learning to preserve your food today will also help you in the future should that major collapse happen. You will need to know how to preserve the meat you raise and the garden you grow to keep your family fed throughout the winter months.

There are a few other things you need to know in order to preserve and prepare meals when you no longer have your kitchen and all those gadgets that make life easier.


Home canning is something you can do in today’s world. Canning meats, vegetables, fruits and a variety of soups and stews will allow you to load your shelves with food your family will love. When you can your own food, you are making it the way your family likes. You are getting to use the food you have hand selected and you are the one who institutes quality control. Canning requires heat and for vegetables and meat, it is an absolute must to use a pressure cooker. This is a food preservation method that will not be quite as possible after a collapse and there is no power or gas.

You can do something known as dry canning over an open fire, but that method will be reserved for storing foods like grains, jerky and fruit. Do what you can today to learn all about home canning and load the shelves with as much food as possible.



In today’s world, we can use dehydrators to quickly dry our food right in the kitchen. It is possible to dry meat, fruits and vegetables to the point they are safe to put in a package and set on the shelves of our food storage. This will be the best way to preserve food after a major event. It relies on the sun to dry the food and remove as much of the moisture content in the food as possible. Without moisture, bacteria cannot grow and the food will be safe to eat for months or years if dried properly and stored in an air-tight container. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to stockpile silica gel packs to use in the future. The gel packs can be put into a container of dry food to absorb any remaining moisture that may be present. This can mean the difference between food lasting for years or molding within months. After a collapse when you don’t have the luxury of a dehydrator and have to rely on the sun, these gel packs will go a long way to making sure the food lasts all winter.

Grinding Grains


In today’s world, we buy bags of flour and use it in our kitchens. While you can load your pantry with flour, it will run out eventually in a long term survival situation. You can save yourself money and get the hang of grinding grains by buying whole wheat and other grains. You will need a hand mill and not the electric ones. Growing your own grains and then grinding them in the kitchen is actually much healthier for you and you will love the taste. It may seem like a lot of work, but this is one method of preservation that is certainly worth giving a try today. It is important to point out, you will not want to grind up 25 pounds of grain and try to store it. There are oils in many of the nuts and grains and they can go rancid. It is best to store your grains whole and grind as needed.


Measuring ingredients is going to look a lot different in a world that has been thrust into survival mode. You probably won’t have all of your measuring cups and spoons. It is all going to be eye-balled, which can be tricky. If you do happen to have recipes memorized and you are trying to make something that requires fairly specific amounts, there are some tricks you can use.

Your first is about one cup high. Assume you have a canteen cup or a plastic water bottle you are using to scoop flour or some other ingredient. Using the height of your fist as the line on the dish will help you determine a cup. The palm of your hand is about a quarter cup. With those two guidelines, you can estimate a half cup.

A quarter-sized pile of seasoning or baking powder is one teaspoon. A dime is about a quarter teaspoon and a nickel is a half teaspoon. You could use an empty water bottle to judge ounces. A standard water bottle holds 20 ounces. A cup of liquid ingredients is 8 ounces. A full water bottle is about 2.5 cups.

It isn’t an exact science and you will definitely learn the art of guesstimating and knowing when you have enough flour, salt, sugar or what not, just by looking and the texture of your meal. It is something that takes a lot of practice and experience. It doesn’t hurt to stash away a cookbook and a few of the tools you have become dependent on. Every advantage you have will help.

Dave Steen

About The Author: Dave is a 58 year old survivalist; father of three; with over 40 years of survival experience. He started young, learning survival the hard way, in the school of hard knocks. Now, after years of study, he's gray-haired and slightly overweight. That hasn't dimmed his interest in survival though. If anything, Dave has a greater commitment to survival than ever, so that he can protect his family. Click Here To Read More About Dave

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