How Much Food is Enough

Dear Fellow Survivalist;

One of the big questions that face every prepper is trying to decide how much of a stockpile is enough. Most specifically, we ask that question in regards to food and ammo, but it really applies to everything. Here we are, preparing for God only knows what sort of disaster, and we have to figure out when we’ve actually reached our goal.

But the thing is, there’s no real way to gauge how much of a stockpile we need, because we don’t know what sort of disaster we’re going to face; nor is there any real way for us to know. There are enough different sorts of dangers we face in this world, each of which will bring with it its own set of consequences and its own recovery time.

If all you’re preparing for is a hurricane, then all you need to stockpile is for however long it will take for the power to be back on and the water to be running. That shouldn’t take more than a couple of months, at the outside. But hurricanes, as bad as they are, aren’t the worst thing that we face. Compared to disasters like an EMP, they’re rather short-term problems, considering that recovery from an EMP would take years.

So the only way we can be sure of stockpiling enough, is to figure the worst-case scenario that we expect to face and stockpile for that. If we do, then we should have enough food and other supplies to make it through any lesser disaster.

But let’s be realistic. Who wants to stockpile ten years worth of food in their basement? There was a family featured on Doomsday Preppers who was doing just that. They were actually preparing meals and canning them, with a goal of having ten years worth of meals ready and stored up in their basement.

That’s probably a bit extreme, besides being a lot of work. But you know, even with their huge stockpile, if a bad enough disaster struck, they’d eventually run out of food. They’re basically putting their trust in that stockpile, expecting it to get them through whatever might come. That’s okay, as long as it lasts, but where is it written that recovery will ever happen, let alone happen within those ten years?

This is why many experienced preppers are moving beyond stockpiling to self-sufficiency. The core idea is to reach a point where they don’t need to buy any of life’s essentials, because they are producing them all themselves. They’re growing their own food, producing their own electricity, pumping their own water and taking care of their own sewage. They’re even making most of the other things that they need.

This is actually much like people have lived throughout the majority of history. They didn’t have stores to run to, so they could buy whatever they wanted. They either had to make it themselves, or count on local tradesmen to make it for them. Their lives were much simpler, but they had everything they needed.

So really, the goal shouldn’t be to have enough of a stockpile to last you ten years or the rest of your life, the goal should be to have enough to last you until you can become self-sufficient. More than anything, that means harvesting and purifying your own water, and growing your own food.

How long will that take? Well, that depends a lot on how much of it you are doing right now and how well prepared you are to expand those operations in the future. Climate plays a factor as well; those living in the far north can only get one harvest in a year, while those who live in the south can get two or even three. So they have an easier time ramping up their food production operations.

If you have enough food to get you through till you get that first harvest in, you’ll probably be alright, assuming that you plant enough to ensure a good harvest. So what you really need is enough to get through till then, plus a few extra months.

But there are some items that won’t be that easy, even though you won’t need as much of them. Medicines will most likely be a problem for several years, before production is back in place. So you’ll want to have a longer stockpile of those. Most other manufactured goods will be slow coming back online as well, except for those that can be manufactured locally in some sort of a cottage industry.

So for the ultimate stockpile, you need to be thinking in terms of how long it will take for production of the item to be back in place, whether that is your own production, local production in cottage industry or the massive industrial base that currently provides for our country. Then, and only then, will you really have a stockpile that will take care of every need.

Of course, reality steps in here and says that’s impossible, and I have to agree. We will never reach a point where we truly have everything. In those cases, we’re going to need to be creative in finding ways to do without, ways to repurpose other things or ways to make it ourselves.

Maybe it’s time to review your stockpile and think about how long those items will really last. In the mean time, keep your ammo dry and your survival equipment close at hand.

Chris and Dr. Rich

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