To gain any kind of survival advantage, the savvy prepper must consider items essential to life. Humans cannot live long without food and water, which makes these the two most important survival items. But what are some ways to store both food and water?
Water storage can be done many ways. Empty soda bottles that have been washed out are great for storing water. Larger containers such as blue food-grade 55 gallon barrels or other plastic storage bins that can be easily emptied or filled are great long-term storage options. For on the go water storage or for ease in rationing, smaller bottled water containers bought in bulk work well. They can easily supplement any go bag or bug out bag.
Food storage can be done many different ways as well. 5 gallon food-grade buckets can be lined with mylar bags and filled with wheat, rice, oats, legumes, and other dehydrated foods. If stored in cool areas, like basements and cellars, the enclosed food can remain preserved for 30+ years. Buckets are easily stackable, but not very portable. Another food storage option is by packing food into #10 cans. They also can last 30+ years, and are easily stackable, and are more portable than 5 gallon buckets. Dehydrated and freeze-dried food is usually found stored in #10 cans. Stocking up on canned goods at your local supermarket are another food storage option, and can either be stored in automatic can rotators, or in rubbermaid storage bins or other plastic storage boxes. Canned food has a much shorter shelf life, usually between 6 and 18 months. Check dates carefully and rotate often.
Military rations are another viable food storage item. MRE’s, or meals ready to eat, don’t require water or heat to be eaten. They are very portable and have varied shelf lives, usually between 5-10 years if stored in cool areas. Many commercially available MREs can be bought in bulk, and come in cardboard storage boxes, which are easy to stack and transport. If you get excessively large storage boxes, whether they be cardboard or wooden storage boxes, they will be more difficult to store and move.