As part of STSPD, my wife and I took a more primitive approach to preparedness, which is something we both strongly believe in. It’s great to have cook stoves, bottles of fuel, etc., but you may not always have those options, especially if you are just starting out with the whole “preparedness” thing. The way we look at it, if we can grab coffee cans or bricks from nearby, along with some dry sticks and grass, and cobble together a stove which heats 4 cups of water without much effort, then a cook stove becomes a “preparedness luxury” and not a required bit a of kit for survival.
There are plenty of free plans for constructing rocket stoves out of all kinds of things. The LDSPrepper has some excellent videos online using #10 and soup cans, and there are plenty of videos showing construction using bricks. Here is a video of our very first attempt of creating a stove, and fire, and boiling water.
Storing nuts and legumes are a great way to prepare for t-plus event. As long as you keep them away from moisture, they can last for decades, which is why so many preppers buy them by the 5 gallon bucket.
A great way to enjoy stored nuts is by roasting them. By using a rocket stove or other efficient form of heating them, you can create an energy packed, delicious treat in as little as 15 min. Roasting nuts takes no oil, and practically no skill, but the end result has never been less than amazing.
I have an outdoor rocket stove constructed of regular red bricks, and a cast iron skillet that I use for many dishes. Simply place enough nuts to just about form a single layer on your cooking surface, and put them over your fire. When cooking them in an oven you want the heat to be approximately 350°, but it’s not always that easy to tell how hot your fire is outdoors but a good way to tell if you’re roasting them on enough heat is that after the first 5 min. some of you the nuts should start to glisten from the warming of the oils within them.
As with a lot of camp cooking, the smell of the food will prematurely you know when they’re done, but as a rule you shouldn’t have to roast them for more than 10 to 15 min. Once that’s done set the entire skillet aside and sprinkle a little bit of salt on the nuts. It’s important to let them cool down because nuts continue to cook even after they’ve been removed from the heat. About 10 min. later you will be able to enjoy a very delicious, energy packed snack. Mixing it with some fruit will create a great trail mix.
Some favorites I like to sprinkle on after taking them off the heat:
We know this as the scout motto, popularized in western culture by Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of the scouting movement. When asked, “for what?” he replied, “oh, any old thing”.
Your preparations will never be all-encompassing, and will never be perfect. You’ll never plan for every contingency, or every possible way that stuff can go wrong, or right. All you can do is be prepared for the things you think are likely to occur.
That brings me to the question, “How prepared am I?”
It’s a scary question if you’re just starting out because the answer will be overwhelming. The key to being prepared is not only to amass the supplies and equipment you feel is appropriate, but for their operation to be second nature before problems ever arise. Practicing everything from primitive skills like fire and shelter building to the ultra-prepared options of having a fully stocked, powered bunker and knowing how to use a HAM radio to communicate with the outside.
You’re ability to survive and thrive during and after an event are equal to the training and practice you invest before it occurs.