Home Canning – Get the Help You Need from The Prepper’s Canning Guide

Does your food storage strategy include food you’ve canned yourself? If home canning is a stumbling block for you, you need the help you’ll get from The Prepper’s Canning Guide, by Daisy Luther.

It may seem odd to think about canning at the time this post is being published in early spring, but as you’ll hear from my DestinySurvival Radio conversation with Daisy, planning, as with any aspect of preparedness, is most certainly an important component of canning.

Daisy’s book will expand your imagination and open new possibilities for you. There’s more to canning than filling your pantry shelves with green beans or strawberry jam. Why not try entrees, soups and side dishes?

Whether you’re new to canning or you’ve been doing it for years, you’ll want to hear what Daisy shares in The Prepper’s Canning Guide and our DestinySurvival Radio conversation. I’ll give you a few highlights about both below.

Getting to Know Your Prepper Canning Guru

Daisy Luther has been my DestinySurvival Radio guest before, in the summer of 2015 when we talked about The Prepper’s Water Survival Guide. She’s well known by many in the prepper community at large, but if you’re not familiar with who she is, here’s a little background, as it appears in The Prepper’s Canning Guide.

“Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, gun-toting, homeschooling blogger. She writes about current events, preparedness, food, frugality, and the pursuit of liberty on her websites, The Organic Prepper and DaisyLuther.com. She is the cofounder of Preppers University, where she teaches intensive preparedness courses in a live online classroom setting.

“Daisy is also the author of The Pantry Primer: A Prepper’s Guide to Whole Food on a Half Price Budget, The Prepper’s Water Survival Guide: Harvest, Treat, and Store Your Most Vital Resource, and Have Yourself a Thrifty Little Christmas and a Debt-Free New Year.”

During our conversation Daisy and I stuck mainly to the subject of canning. But as you can tell from the above paragraphs, she’s well versed in a number of other areas. Her other books and web sites are well worth your time.


The Prepper's Canning Guide


Looking Inside the Information Container

The Prepper’s Canning Guide is divided into three parts. The first few chapters cover canning basics, including how to can safely.

Part two covers…

  • Traditional canning tips and recipes
  • Jams
  • Condiments
  • Pickling
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Beans
  • Meats

Part three is about meals and the things that go with them, such as…

  • Soups and stews
  • Main dishes
  • Leftovers
  • Getting creative

You’ll find helpful tables, especially in the appendices. Fore example, you’ll need to know how to accommodate for the differences in canning times when you live in higher altitudes. The index will help you find your way through the book as well.

Tasting the Prepper Canning Guidance

I confess to ignorance when it comes to canning. That’s why I’m glad we have Daisy’s book to refer to. And I’m glad to share our conversation with you.

Why this book? Daisy says it’s because preppers have a different focus than others who can things like fancy jams.

Canning your own food calls for a more engaged attitude toward food preparation and consumption than buying ready-made storage food with a longer shelf life. Your survival pantry should be diversified. But with home canning you’re sure to make conscientious decisions about what you eat and how you rotate your food supply.

Why home canning? There are a number of good reasons to can food for your survival pantry, but one good reason is so you have control over what you eat. You know what goes into what you’ve canned. You can gear your food to meet special needs, such as sensitivity to gluten, colorings and preservatives.

You also have control over how much you set aside. For example, Daisy knows how much spaghetti sauce to can for her family.

Besides, according to Daisy, having home canned food on your shelves is the closest you can get to homemade fast food.

Plus–and this should get your attention–you’ll save money.

What’s the difference in canning methods? I asked Daisy about the difference between water bath canning and pressure canning.

Water bath canning is for high acid foods, such as fruits, pickles, tomato products, jams and jellies. Pressure canning is for all those low acid foods which call for a higher temperature. Vegetables and meats must be canned using a pressure canner.

Daisy was quick to point out the difference between a pressure canner and a pressure cooker. Without going into detail, a pressure canner is suited for canning and holds more quarts. Daisy described her choice for a pressure canner.

Another reason for using a pressure canner is to prepare foods at a high enough temperature to reduce the risk of deadly botulism poisoning.

Incidentally, during our visit and in her book Daisy explains why you don’t have to be afraid of using a pressure canner. There’s no need to worry about blowing up your house.

What if you can’t grow all you need? If you’re like most of us and aren’t able to grow all of your own food, pay attention to Daisy’s tips on going to farmers markets and getting to know local growers.

Why try to buy 100 pounds of tomatoes? Daisy cans several foods using tomatoes for her family. Chances are you’ll also want more tomatoes than you might think at first when you realize how many things you eat that call for tomatoes.

What about supplies to have on hand? Of course, jars, lids and rings. You may or may not want pectin, but you’ll need sugar and canning salt. The book goes into greater detail.

What about reusable canning lids? They’ve been marketed to preppers. But Daisy isn’t a fan. She explains why in our conversation and in her book.

What do you do when there’s no electricity? Is a wood stove adequate? Daisy uses an outdoor propane burner. Trying to can with an open fire calls for a lot of fuel and may not cook evenly or long enough to do the job.

What foods should you avoid canning? Daisy and the USDA don’t recommend canning dairy products. Daisy also says not to can starchy ingredients, including rice and noodles. Add dairy or starches at serving time. There’s more in our chat and in the book.

It’s also not wise to use much seasoning or spices. Flavors become stronger with canning. You can always add more seasoning or spice, but you can’t take it out.

What about canning leftovers? Daisy talked a little about this with me, but she says you should see her book for the details.


Home canned vegetables


Sampling More Tidbits

You’ll appreciate the many recipes throughout the book. If you’re like me, your mouth will be watering as you read.

For example, I like the idea of using fruit jams in yogurt, ice cream, or in muffins and cookies.

The chapter on condiments features recipes for relishes, salsas and various kinds of pickles. Ever thought of pickling carrots? How about beets?

You’ll discover more than one way to can apples, peaches, pears and other fruits. How about making your own fruit coctail?

You’ll want to pay attention to Daisy’s tips in the book on cleaning veggies and fruits you can, especially if they come from sources known for their use of pesticides.

You’ll be surprised by how many vegetables you can can. No need to limmit yourself to green beans and tomatoes.

However, if beans are among your favorite foods–or if you want to know how they can be–there’s a separate book chapter to help you get creative.

Digging In

Pop the lid off the jar of goodies waiting for you by listening to my conversation with Daisy Luther on DestinySurvival Radio for March 30, 2017. (Right click to download.)

If you look through The Prepper’s Canning Guide and you’re not drooling, something’s not right. Get your own copy, and you’ll see what I mean. Click on the book’s title wherever you see it linked in this post.

If you’re new to home canning, or if you need a refresher, let Daisy’s book be your guide. She also offers online classes through Preppers University. You might also check with your local extension service to see if they offer classes on canning.

Finally, don’t be afraid to experiment. Daisy has done a lot of that over the years. That’s how she’s been able to put such a variety of recipes in her book. There are things you can can which you may not have known of or thought about.

Dare I say it? (Bad pun ahead.) The Prepper’s Canning Guide will get your creative juices flowing.

And that’s a good thing because home canning is worth it now for your family and as part of your food storage strategy for the future.


Canning Supplies for First time Survival Gardeners

If you’re gardening for the first time this year, you may have more of some vegetables than you expected. What do you do with all those green beans?

A good option is to practice that old time summer ritual of canning them in jars, like Grandma or Great Grandma used to. Naturally you’ll need canning supplies for first time survival gardeners.

Does that sound a little scary? If you’ve never canned anything, or if you haven’t done it in years, you’ll be glad to knowPantry Paratus has what you need to begin canning.

As many are discovering, canning is a great way to beat high food prices by preserving your own fruits and vegetables.

Canning allows you to provide nutritious, delicious food for your family even during the long winter months. You’ll be pleased with yourself when you open a jar of something you grew yourself or purchased from the local farmer’s market.

Besides, there’s something special in winter about looking at rows of jars with those beautiful yellows, greens, oranges, or reds that remind us of summer. This year it could possibly make a difference for your family’s survival.

Pantry Paratus has the canning supplies and kitchen hardware you need. If you’re new to canning, consider the Pantry Paratus Canning Starter Kit.

Here’s a sampling of what you’ll find from Pantry Paratus.

  • Canning Tools and Supplies
  • Kitchen Hardware
  • Dehydrators & Tools
  • …And more!

Click on their ad below and let them help you with the products and educational tools you need.

Happy canning!


Shop Canning Supplies


Reusable Canning Jar Lids for Your Survival Kitchen?

Imagine a scenario where you can’t get commonly used items. Fortunately, you’re wise and planned ahead for such a time. You stocked up on food and basic supplies. You also knew how valuable anything is that can be reused because you won’t likely be getting any more.

You have a pantry full of produce you canned from your garden, but what do you do when that’s gone and you want to can next year’s harvest? You can reuse the jars, but not the metal lids. They’re only good one time.

Pantry Paratus has the solution now. It’s reusable canning jar lids you can use year after year. They’ll last a lifetime when used properly.

These reusable canning jar lids are made in the USA from FDA and USDA approved material. They’re also BPA free.

Reusable canning jar lids are a good buy, too, because they’re economical. Why not buy several sets for your survival kitchen today? Get more details by clicking on the ad below. On the Pantry Paratus site, search for reusable canning lids.

As long as you’re able to grow your own food, make sure you’ll be able to keep preserving it safely right now and in the future when life as we know it is a thing of the past.


Shop Canning Supplies


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.