What About Living on Wheat for Survival?

Wheat is one of the first grains many think of when it comes to storing food. We think of it because it’s been a staple food for centuries. A number of companies offer buckets of wheat for your survival pantry.

But what about actually living on wheat? Do you know how you’ll use those buckets of wheat once you’re in a survival situation?

Allow me to recommend How to Live on Wheat. The author is John Hill, and he was one of my earliest guests on DestinySurvival Radio. Because many of my readers may not have heard that interview, I repackaged it for airing on this week’s show.

Listen to DestinySurvival Radio for April 14, 2016 to hear my interview with John Hill. (Right click the link to download.) During our conversation, I directed listeners to view info here.

How to Live on Wheat is a DestinySurvival Pick. You can order it when you click on its title in this post.

You might be surprised by what you didn’t already know about wheat’s versatility. John Hill’s book is one you’ll want to have on hand to refer to many times to make the best use of wheat.


Store This, Not That! – Practical Food Storage Guidance You Can Use

Store This, Not That! by Debbie Kent and Crystal Godfrey gives you practical food storage guidance you can use. It was my good fortune to visit with Debbie Kent for this week’s DestinySurvival Radio program. I’m grateful she took time out of her busy schedule to share insights with you and me.

Crystal and Debbie are proponents of a maxim you’ve probably heard a number of times before. Store what you’ll eat and eat what you store. But how do you make that work for you?


Meet Your Food Storage Helpers

Crystal Godfrey and Debbie Kent have achieved a certain amount of fame, and perhaps you’ve heard of one or both of them. Here’s a little background on each one.


Crystal Godfrey is Referred to as “the rock star of food storage.” She has been featured on BYUTV, LDS LIVING MAGAZINE, and local Morning TV shows. Even though she grew up promising herself she’d never make her family EAT food storage, she is swallowing her words and helping change the negative stigma of food storage…and helping others eat it (along with her and her family!).

Debbie Kent has been actively involved in food storage and preparedness for over 20 years. She has been featured on TV and radio shows and taught seminars all-around the western states where she shares her knowledge of the good, the bad and the sometimes funny truths in the world of preparedness.


Read This, Not That!

Store This, Not That!


With so many books about food storage out there, do we really need another one?

Yes, if it’s based on real world experience, not theory or a sales pitch.

This is an instance where I defer you to the experts. Debbie and Crystal aren’t trying to sell you on some gimmick. They know what they’re talking about, and they’re not afraid to say what they think.

After watching people spend thousands of dollars on storage food that didn’t seem to be in anyone’s best interest, these two ladies teamed up to offer solutions for avoiding mistakes.

Most of their book consists of guidance on a variety of food storage topics. The aim is to meet your needs, no matter your level of experience. You’ll find plenty of recipes for using your storage food, too.

An added attraction is that Store This, Not That! is a colorfully illustrated book which includes several helpful charts.

Broadly speaking, topics covered include…

  • Saving money
  • 72-hour kits and emergency food
  • 90-Day food supply
  • Long term food supply
  • Recipes
  • Doing it yourself
Though Debbie and Crystal are opinionated, this isn’t intended to be a negative book. There may be certain things they believe you shouldn’t store, but they do their best to guide you into tailoring a plan for the best things you should store for your family’s needs.

And that’s what you want, isn’t it?


Get the Right Ingredients for Food Storage Success

The 72-hour kit – It’s probably meant for taking with you if you have to leave home. Therefore, you’ll want to optimize space. Survival food bars take up much less space than MRE’s and cans of food.

When it comes to storing water in your emergency kit, keep in mind water is heavy. Why not have something like the Berkey sport bottle for filtering water?

Debbie and Crystal aren’t fans of MRE’s, and Debbi and I discussed that during our conversation.

90-Day Supply – Food storage doesn’t have to be an all or nothing proposition. Start out simple with a 90-day food supply. It’s a good way to set aside what you normally eat, and you don’t have to spend a lot of money.

The ladies are pragmatic in their approach to stocking up. Diversify. Have food items from various sources, including foods you can put in your freezer and grow in your garden.

Avoid Shortcuts – Several companies sell food storage buckets, but are they what they claim? How can you know if these buckets are adequate for you and your family? Debbie and Crystal say the buckets claiming to offer 30 days of food are a gimmick. Eating from ready-made storage food buckets is like eating out. And you’d better have plenty of water to reconstitute your food.

A year’s supply of food may not be the right thing for your family for several reasons. Debbie and I talked about that, and it’s spelled out in the book, too.

Common Sense Wisdom – When it comes to dehydrated and freeze dried foods, Crystal and Debbie want you and me to be careful about what we’re getting. Pay close attention to serving sizes and calories because the advertising and product labels may not be telling the whole story.

It’s essential to try various foods to see what you like and don’t like.

Alternative Cooking Methods – These get their share of discussion in the book, including solar cooking. Have more than one means of cooking at the ready. Debbie and Crystal tell why they aren’t fans of alcohol stoves.

Grocery Store Guidance – If you’ve wondered when to buy certain items at the grocery store to get the best deals, this book gives you guidance. For example, did you stock up on baking supplies during the holiday season?

Thoughtful Planning – If you’re one of those people who balks at the idea of planning, keep in mind that having a plan simplifies things. Once you get a routine going, you’ll be more efficient. Food rotation is easier when you store what you normally eat.

So get started. This book will help you with that.

Long Term Food Storage – The chapter on long term storage food is a primer in itself. What is it? How should you use it? This is info you need, especially if you haven’t had much experience with dehydrated and freeze dried foods. You’ll discover how to get the best buys from companies who want to sell you storage food.

You’ll also get info on price comparisons, appearance, taste and texture of various foods for your survival pantry.

Need to know how to make the most of powdered milk, butter, cheese and eggs? Crystal and Debbi help you sift through what you need to know..

Which fruits and vegetables are better canned, rather than freeze dried or dehydrated? Should you buy freeze dried meats? What about herbs and spices?

Don’t avoid storing whole grains. Gluten problems can be minimized when grains are prepared and used properly.

By the way, when Debbie and I talked, she shared a tip about popcorn you won’t want to miss.

I’m glad these ladies don’t shy away from rice and beans. You’ll see from their recipes that a little seasoning and spice can make all the difference.

Ever heard of bean butter? If not, you will when you hear my visit with Debbie or read the book.

If you’re tempted to buy brownie and dessert mixes from storage food companies, make sure you’ve met basic food needs first. If you still want a brownie mix, pay attention to the recommendations set forth in Store This, Not That!.

What about setting aside food and water for your pets? That’s covered briefly as well.

Timing – If you can’t give storage food items optimal storing conditions–a cool, dry place, out of the light–your food may not last as long as advertised. On the other hand, pasta, rice, beans and wheat can last for years. Canned items you buy at the grocery store may last well beyond the presumed expiration date.

But you don’t have to put that to the test. Rotate your food. The book discusses food rotation systems, and Debbie and I talked about that briefly as well.

Recipes You Can Use – If you’re wondering about menu planning and recipes for using storage food, it’s all in the book. You might be surprised by what your family likes.

You’ll appreciate the recipe for easy bread making. Plus, the ladies really do tell you how to make rice and beans interesting and delicious.

While the recipes use shelf stable ingredients, use fresh foods whenever you can. For example, you don’t have to use freeze dried meat, unless there’s no other option. Of course, if you garden, you have a ready supply of fresh vegetables.


Mix it All Together

Food storage doesn’t have to be scary and overwhelming. Experiment now, while things haven’t gotten as bad as they may get.

The book’s final chapter encourages you and me to adopt the DIY mentality. Develop skills in gardening, dehydrating food, canning, and sprouting seeds for food.

Debbie and Crystal want you and me to consider their book as a resource. They want to empower us to trust ourselves, since we’re the best advocates for our families.


Dig In!

I’ve written plenty in this post, but I’ve only shared highlights. Hear my conversation with Debbie Kent by listening to DestinySurvival Radio for February 25, 2016. (Right click to download.)

Get Store This, Not That! by clicking on its title wherever you see it in this post. That takes you to the page where it’s featured, and you can order from there. Also, check out the book’s companion Web site for more info at www.storethisnotthat.com

If you’re serious about making the most of food storage for your family, Store This, Not That! belongs in your survival kitchen collection.


Brave the Elements With These Cold Weather Camping Tips

Editor’s Note: The following post originally appeared on the biolitestove.com/blog. Article and photos by James and Rachel, Idle Theory Bus.




This is a special guest post from James and Rachel who have been on the road for three years and have become experts in car camping no matter the season. Follow their journey at www.idletheorybus.com.

Life On The Road

Three years ago, we quit our jobs, gave away our stuff, and moved into Sunshine, our 1976 VW Bus. We wanted to simplify. We wanted peace. We wanted to spend our days outside, in the warmth of the sun, in places that still tremble with wildlife and boast unpolluted views of the Milky Way. We couldn’t do that in the city. So we hit the road and made its remote destinations our full-time home.






Living Simply

We base our journey around wild, undeveloped tracts of land. Each night, we camp in new and unknown places, under a wide sky.

We fund our travels doing farm work, picking peaches, harvesting grapes, and planting kale. It’s rewarding work that connects us directly to the food we eat. Between farm stints, we explore wilderness areas, hiking, watching wildlife, and identifying native plants.

Out here, on the road and off the grid, we’ve found a less civilized and more primitive existence. Living without running water, or grid-based electricity, we have greatly simplified our lives. We’ve learned that we can enjoy a great quality of life without the many possessions society deems necessary.

Whittling our material possessions down to what fits in the bus, it becomes increasingly important to carefully curate our belongings. A Biolite CampStove is one of our must-carry items, because it connects us closer to the land. It is unspeakably gratifying to harvest fallen wood from the forest floor for fuel to cook dinner. Even better, the same wood can simultaneously charge our phones and electronics. Because of BioLite, we are one step closer to achieving our dreams of a sustainable life off the grid.

Off-Season = Best Season

Living on the road, our travels don’t stop with the end of summer. We used to be true snowbirds, fleeing snow and evading below-freezing evenings. Sharing 80 square feet can be tough, especially when days are short and we spend more time inside our tiny home on wheels. But the hardships we endure are well worth it, because they also deliver mountain top highs.

We’ve learned to stay north as the first snowstorms settle in. Avoiding an entire season, we missed an entire side of the natural world. We must experience the extremes of nature in order to live a life that’s fully alive.

Let our experiences be a lesson: cold, short days shouldn’t prevent you from getting out to explore! Winter is a great season for trekking into the snowy outdoors. These long months offer unmatched beauty and solitude. Often, we find ourselves wonderfully alone in destinations that are packed throughout the summer.

Even if we don’t spend the entire winter season in powder, we make sure to slot ourselves into a few snow storms. Waking to a white world is an unmatched road trip experience.








The Southern Rockies: A Winter Wonderland

The Southern Rockies are our top destination for winter travel. Remote dirt roads, towering fourteeners, and sweeping mesas offer diversity and solitude, especially off-season. We can spend weeks in a 40-mile radius and never grow bored.>

We welcomed the winter season in the foothills of Durango, Colorado and wound our way south to Santa Fe, New Mexico. We got caught in a snowstorm the San Juan Mountains, and barely made it down the slick road. We stood in still silence as elk pranced across the sagebrush mesas near Taos, their footprints the only sound in the universe. We watched parts of ourselves drift through the rapids of the majestic, stately Rio Grande.

Our favorite detour on our southbound route was The Rio Grande del Norte Monument, our country’s newest Park addition. These 250,000 acres were constitutionally preserved in 2013 to protect the rare, high-desert mesa. Junipers, pinion trees, and sagebrush span broad vistas that reminded us how small and insignificant we really are.

For great views of the Taos plateau, check out the Guadalupe Trail in the Wild Rivers section, a four mile roundtrip hike that’ll warm you up on chilly day. For nighttime accommodations, the primitive campgrounds are a steal! At $7 a night, we had the entire place to ourselves, under the bright diamonds of Orion’s Belt.

A Happy Camper Is A Toasty Camper

Don’t be scared to venture out in cold weather! With some tricks and good packing, you can keep toasty warm and safe, even when temperatures plummet into the single digits.

Here are our top tips for winter car camping:

  • Bundle up Smart. Having the right gear makes winter life so much simpler. Hydroflask bottles keep our beverages hot for hours, so we’re always sipping on warming drinks. Muck Boots are hands down our favorite winter boot. Waterproof and rugged, they get us through single digit days with toasty toes. A good sock wicks moisture, keeping your feet dry and morale high.
  • Keep active during the day. Plan activities that get your body moving; the best natural heater is physical activity. Take a snowy hike. Instigate a snowball fight. Dance. You’ll discover that cold dissipates in the face of pumping blood.
  • Avoid driving at night Curvy back roads become treacherous when melted snow ices at dusk. Limit travel on snowy roads to daylight hours, and drive with care!
  • Sleep in your vehicle. In the winter, we don’t pop our canvas top at night. The insulation of your car will maintain a warm ambient temperature, so all you need is a zero degree sleeping bag to stay toasty.
  • Keep on the Sunny Side. When choosing a spot to park it for the night, look for campsites with full exposure to early morning sun. You’ll enjoy the sun on your face as you prepare your morning brew.
  • Up Your Photography Game. Shooting photos in the snow is tricky. The white reflects sunlight, and creating a disaster out of your highlights. Mediate that issue by investing in a polarizing filter. The filter acts as sunglasses for your camera and transforms a daylight dilemma into a correctly exposed shot.
  • Barbecuing isn’t just a summertime activity! Grilling out is a perfect way to keep warm and enjoy views of the snowy forest. Pick up a bottle of locally grown and fermented New Mexican red wine to sip as you grill; it’ll warm you from the inside out. A spicy Syrah pairs with grilled ribs perfectly. See below for one of our favorite recipes:


Recipe: New Mexico-style Baby Back Ribs with Green Chile BBQ Sauce





  • Grass-fed Baby Back Ribs
  • 3 cups Grass-fed Buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons thyme
  • 2 teaspoons salt

Homemade Green Chile BBQ Sauce

  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • 1/3 cup Roasted Green Hatch Chiles
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 3 Teaspoons salt
  • Empty bottle

Combine ingredients in a saucepan and simmer for 20 minutes. Cool. Funnel into glass bottle and serve immediately. Enjoy with a campfire, a glass of red wine, and good company!

The night before you grill, slice and remove the tough white membrane from your ribs. Rub the ribs (defrosted) with the salt and thyme. Brush on buttermilk and marinate in a pot or tupperware overnight. This tenderizes grass-fed beef to fall-off the bone status. This is a must, as ribs can be tough cooked over fire.

Heat your BioLite Portable Grill to a medium-high temperature. Stoke that fire! Place ribs on grill and cook 40 minutes on each side. Let the fire die a bit, and baste the ribs with a cup or so of your homemade BBQ sauce. Grill on low fire for another 30 minutes. Let sit 10 minutes and serve!

Hint: for super-spicy, warming ribs, slather more green chiles on top! You’ll be eating like a New Mexico native.










Make Your Own No Knead Bread

Is there anyone who doesn’t like fresh, homemade bread? It doesn’t have to be complicated or intimidating.

If making your own bread is part of the simpler lifestyle you’re working toward, you’ll appreciate an article in the November-December 2015 “Backwoods Home Magazine” (Issue 156), on easy, no knead bread. Click the link below the exerpt to read the whole thing.


Easy, no-knead bread

By Melissa Souza

There is nothing more delicious than homemade bread hot out of the oven.

This no-knead bread costs me about a dollar per loaf to make, and it’s so easy that my children are able to help with the process as well. This bread requires no kneading, just one rise, and only five ingredients.

Read the whole article here:

Excerpt used with permission of Backwoods Home Magazine.
http://www.backwoodshome.com 1-800-835-2418.


Explore the further possibilities for making no knead bread by getting a copy of My Bread: The Revolutionary No-Work, No-Knead Method, by Jim Lahey.


Dehydrating Eggs for Your Survival Pantry?

Dehydrating eggs for your survival pantry sounds like a novel idea, doesn’t it? Before you try it yourself, read what Patrice Lewis has to say in the November-December 2015 “Backwoods Home Magazine” (Issue #156).

Patrice discovered dehydrating eggs isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

I know, bad pun. And there are more where that came from.

But rather than subject you to my bad yokes (sorry), the article offers good advice on how to dehydrate fresh eggs and how to best use them.

Hint: You probably won’t like dried eggs for breakfast. But click the llink below to read the whole article and draw your own conclusions.


Dehydrating eggs at home

By Patrice Lewis

Here’s a trivia question for you: What do you do when your chickens are laying gangbusters and you have no less than 10 dozen eggs in the fridge, with more arriving daily?

Answer: Preserve them.

Read the whole article here:

Excerpt used with permission of Backwoods Home Magazine.
http://www.backwoodshome.com 1-800-835-2418.

If you’d prefer to try ready-made dehydrated eggs, shop with the companies featured on the Food Storage & Preserving page in the Prep Mart.


Two Ways to Organize and Rotate Your Canned Food

What do you do when storing and using your cans of food gets to be a headache? Below are two ways to organize and rotate your canned food.

The first way is proposed by Monika Williams in “Backwoods Home Magazine” for September/October, 2015 (Issue #155). She describes a clever way to organize cans and save space at the same time. See the article exerpt below. Then click the link to read the whole thing.


Build a vertical storage rack for cans

By Monika Williams

I am always trying to come up with different ways to utilize the small space I have to store food. Then there is the problem of rotating my stored goods. I typically keep a variety of canned foods on hand at all times and it can be difficult to make sure I follow the “out with the old, in with the new” rule.

So I decided to make a rotating can rack. I chose this particular design because of the minimal floor space it requires, since this hangs vertically on the wall.

Read the whole article here:

Excerpt used with permission of Backwoods Home Magazine.
http://www.backwoodshome.com 1-800-835-2418.


The second way to store and rotate your canned food is to get the Can Organizer. It’s an inexpensive, ready-made system that fits into your cupboard or pantry shelves. There’s a unit that’s suited for your shelving arrangement. Click on the banner below to get the specifics and to place your order.


The Can Organizer


Dutch Oven Cooking with Food Storage – Part 2

If you missed last week’s DestinySurvival Radio with Mark Hansen on Dutch oven cooking with food storage, check out the blog post with the show link and other links here. Part one focused mostly on Dutch oven basics. Part two this week goes more into Mark’s thoughts and advice about cooking certain foods.


Hot for Dutch Oven Cooking

When you listen to this week’s show, you’ll notice I start it differently than usual. It’s no exaggeration to say Mark is hot for Dutch oven cooking. He has five cookbooks on the subject to his credit. Then there’s his very popular blog. If anybody knows about Dutch oven cooking, it’s Mark Hansen.

His latest book, Stop, Drop, and Cook, emphasizes food storage cooking with your Dutch oven. His goal with this book is to help you be ready to cook meals for your family when there’s no power or gas for cooking. He says to start practicing now. Get acquainted with your Dutch oven and how to cook with food storage. This way it won’t be unfamiliar, and you’ll have skill and confidence for when the big event happens.

As I noted last week, the introductory part of Mark’s book is sort of a Dutch Oven 101. Recipes come in varying levels of simplicity, or complexity, depending on your point of view. They include plenty of helpful commentary and tips. Thus, they’re not just lists of ingredients and cooking times. You’ll find recipes on…

  • Dinners and Entrees
  • Breads
  • Desserts
  • Side Dishes
  • Breakfast
The last few pages contain a resource list of helpful Web sites and a recipe index.


Stop, Drop, and Cook--Book Cover


Morsels from Our Chat

Are you turned off by TVP? Mark was, too, until he started using it. However, he says not to make it the main focus of the meal. Add it to dishes like chili or spaghetti sauce.

Looking for info on how to make a meat substitute from gluten? He covers that in his book, too. How about Sloppy Joes anyone?

I was surprised to see so many soup recipes listed among the entrees. But Mark says soups are very well suited for Dutch oven cooking, since you’re simply cooking in a pot.

In case you didn’t already know it, you can make breads, rolls, biscuits, cornbread, pizza crust, pancakes, and more. Even do Ezekiel bread in your Dutch oven.

The dessert section in this cookbook doesn’t disappoint either. I’m impressed with the array of possibilities. Try carrot cake, brownies, or apple pie bites. In fact, you can even make full sized pies.

Want to do something creative with those beans you’ve stored? Make bean pie. Mark made a chocolate pie using beans, which he described as incredible.

Of course, you can always do what people might expect you to do with beans, such as fix baked beans or cooked lentils.

Breakfast recipes include a tasty casserole and hot cereal. Mark likes a mountain man breakfast casserole. In our conversation he described a twist on pancakes which left his kids wondering if they were eating breakfast or dessert.

Is there anything you can’t make in a Dutch oven?

Well, probably not waffles. Muffins are a bit difficult, too. And cookies are best made into bars you cut apart, rather than individual cookies.

Otherwise, the versatility afforded by Dutch oven cooking is amazing.


Savory Pointers

Mark is a believer in adaptability and substitutions and suggests several things you can use if you don’t have a given ingredient. You can easily mix and match fresh ingredients with canned food or freeze dried and dehydrated items. Consider what the recipe calls for, and do any preparation ahead of time. For example, you may need to soak dry beans a few hours, which you wouldn’t have to do when using canned beans.

It’s important to note that some ingredients, such as flour, aren’t shelf stable for long periods of time. Therefore, in a long term survival situation, grind your own wheat flour to have it fresh.

While you shouldn’t lift the lid very often to check on your food while it’s cooking, Mark doesn’t say not to do it. Sometimes it’s necessary to check the temperature of meat. That means adding a reliable food thermometer to your cooking accessories.

Mark loves to show off the versatility of Dutch oven cooking and surprise people with the results. If you really want to go out on a limb with unusual dishes, get Mark’s book Around the World in a Dutch Oven.

An unexpected benefit of Dutch oven cooking for Mark is his discovery that many of the foods he disliked as a child are enjoyable now. That’s because Dutch oven slow cooking improves flavors and texture.


Wrapping it Up

Hear part two of my conversation with Mark Hansen by listening to DestinySurvival Radio for May 7, 2015. (Right click to download.) Check out his blog at www.marksblackpot.com. To order any of Mark’s books, start by clicking on its title in this post. His books to date are…



Do you cook with a Dutch oven? If so, do you have a favorite recipe? Or, if you want to comment on something else you’ve read above or heard on this week’s show, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below.

Who knows? Before long you may be hot for Dutch oven cooking, too.