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The 170 Items That Will Disappear First In A Disaster – Stock Up On These Now!

The 170 Items That Will Disappear First In A Disaster - Stock Up On These NOW
Graphics © off-grid.info. Photos – Amazon (with permission)

This is one of our ‘cornerstone’ survival posts. We’ve compiled a mega list, certainly one of the biggest and most valuable lists of this kind on the web, working from a large number of sources!

This list also functions as a very good general prep checklist.

Bookmark this list, link to it, print it out, share on social media. We have also provided Amazon (affiliate) links for most of the items; choosing the products that got the most 5-star reviews when there were multiple options… saving you the time and hassle! Ok, let’s get right into it:


1. Generators. In a serious power outage or disaster situation, generators will fly off the shelves – despite being noisy and difficult to transport; however they are an excellent backup for short term power loss. Good generators are expensive, plus you have the need for gasoline storage, maintenance. Lots of options these days but the small portable Honda generator/inverters are a classic – check out the reviews; among the quietest and a great investment.

2. Lighters. Good choices – Bic Disposable Lighters are a great emergency item. Even better in some ways are the refillable BBQ lighters (these can be held on-flame for longer and have further reach – an awesome fire starting essential). Disposable lighters do have fantastic long term viability if stored well. I found a Bic lighter from the 1990’s in a box of old stuff recently and it fired up first time! But be sure to keep these dry and especially away from salt water conditions, which can degrade the flints.

3. Propane Cylinders.

4. Indoor-Safe Portable RV Propane Heater.

5. Split and seasoned Firewood. (About $100-$200+ per cord, variable by region)

6. Oil lanterns, Lamp Oil, Wicks. (First choice: Buy CLEAR oil. If scarce, stockpile ANY!) Note, olive oil is not really suited for oil lamps but you can make your own olive oil jar candles easily, and they are considered safer than regular candles because if knocked over, the oil will flood and (generally) not set light to things nearby.

7. Gasoline containers. (Plastic or Metal)

8. Fatwood. (absolutely fantastic fire starting material; natural, storable, portable, long lasting – one stick will often do the job!) Yes, you can get fat wood in bulk from Amazon.

9. Fire starting tools of all kinds. Good examples include the Ferrocerium rod / metal striker fire starters

10. “Strike anywhere” matches (+ damp-proof container!!). These will go fast in a disaster, and make great barter items. Keep a big supply and store them well in a damp-proof container. Here’s a 900-pack on Amazon, lots of 5 star reviews.

11. Propane Stoves. (single burner or double burner).

12. Coleman Propane Fuel. Very valuable post-SHTF item! $2.69-$3.99/gal. (buy locally)

13. Coleman Propane Lantern. These burn propane to generate light and so also kick out heat. Thus best for use on cold nights – but should be used with care, keep away from flammable material as it will get extremely hot, don’t use it in a tightly enclosed space, and allow it to cool before putting in a tent for overnight storage. You will also need spare Lamp Mantles: Without these, lamps that require them will end up useless.

14. Lighter fuel. (Will become scarce suddenly). This Colibri butane lighter fuel refill got top reviews on Amazon

15. Denatured Alcohol. (buy locally) Don’t buy rubbing alcohol or vodka just for burning in alcohol stoves! You can get a gallon of Denatured Alcohol at the hardware store for a much cheaper price for the same volume. People use alcohol stoves for backpacking, and they have tried isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) and left very negative reviews of rubbing alcohol for burning.

16. Gasoline. The infrastructure of our current civilization is absolutely dependent on this commodity. If TSHTF in a big way, gasoline supplies will run short within a week (causing absolute chaos as everything grinds to a halt). Countries already go to war over gasoline; and we have all seen the Mad Max movies. Gasoline is difficult and dangerous to store and transport, by all means keep a couple of spare gallons but be realistic. It’s a hassle. Maintain the Off Grid mindset: It may be altogether better to work towards total independence from it. In the meantime, note the simple rule of thumb – never let the gas tank go below half full…


17. Clean food-grade 5 gallon buckets with lids. Can be used for food, water, general storage and transportation

18. Cast iron cookware. (Sturdy, efficient, versatile – can be used over a fire in addition to gas or electric stoves). Here’s a good set we found on Amazon.

19. Thermos cup/flasks. These are superb for keeping hot drinks hot, keeping cold drinks cold, are unbreakable and with the closable lids, protect your drink from flying insects and save your beverage (and your carpets!) in the case of an accidental knock-over. An essential.

20. Canteen cups / cook set. The canteen cup can be used for eating, drinking, heating food and even for things like brushing teeth. These are non-breakable, a survival and outdoor essential. Good examples Stanley 24oz Camp Cook Set and Rothco Stainless Steel Canteen.

21. Camping cutlery set. One for each person – either stainless steel or, if you want something lightweight, titanium.

22. Paper plates/cups/utensils. (Will always have value). Here are Paper plates on Amazon

23. Grain Mill (Non-electric). As soon as the supermarkets run out of pre-ground foods, these will become a kitchen essential once again.

24. Hand Can Opener. You don’t need a fancy one, but you do need one in your survival kit. This one got a ton of 5-star reviews: Kebley Stainless Opener.

25. Solar Ovens. You will be amazed that you can cook at 350-400ºF with one of these. No fuel required.


26. Bread. Yes, whenever their is fear of a shortage or even a snow forecast, bread is the first thing to disappear from shelves. Forget bread. It is a “weekend survival” item only. It does not have a very long shelf life – a few days at best without a working freezer. You would survive MUCH longer with a 5gal bucket of rice and a good stash of canned / preserved and dried foods. Dried rice and beans do not go bad (if they stay dry and pest-free), are cheap, are portable and will keep you alive a long time. Canned foods are awesome – especially if they can be eaten without needing to be cooked.

27. Dried Staples: Rice, beans, wheat, oats, barley, quinoa, dried fruit, flour, yeast.. These are all excellent survival foods if properly stored – nutritious, long lasting. Think about non-perishable, long lasting, bulk, cheap. Get these handled before you need to, because everyone else who is survival minded will be loading up with as much as they can in a “situation”.

28. Fats and oils. Butters, lard, vegetable oils (for cooking) – olive oil, sunflower oil, etc. Coconut oil is desirable but does not have as long a shelf life as some other oils.

29. Long life milks. Powdered, UHT and Condensed, also rice milk, almond milk, hazelnut milk etc. Learn the expiry dates of these items and rotate your stock.

30. Vitamins and supplements. Especially the essential vitamins and minerals – A,B, C, D, E, Magnesium, Potassium, multivitamins etc.

31. Teas.

32. Coffee. Will always be a popular morale boosting and energizing drink. Instant coffees may have a shelf life of 3 years; fresh roast, not as long – depending on storage of course. It gradually loses its quality of aroma and flavor over time.

33. Garlic, spices, baking supplies.

34. Garden seeds (Non-hybrid / Heirloom). (A true long-term survival essential)

35. Sugar.

36. Chocolate. (Another superb barter item; an energy-giving, morale boosting survival food as well as being one of the world’s most popular consumer products! ) and cocoa powder.

37. Salt .

38. Honey. Very important. Real , raw, unfiltered, local honey is considered one of the most durable food items in existence, potentially being good – if well stored – for decades or even centuries. Real raw honey (not the fake, ultrafiltered major brand stuff allegedly made with HFCS) is also highly nutritious.

39. Cigarettes / Tobacco / rolling papers. – even if you don’t smoke, tobacco has always had value as an “alternative currency” and these items will be highly tradeable.

40. Wine/Liquors (for trading, medicinal, etc.). I almost didn’t add this one because I don’t want to encourage alcohol abuse. But vodka has a surprising number of survival uses including antiseptic and water sterilization. Will always be a great barter item, but don’t waste your money “stocking up” if you are just going to drink your way through it.

41. Other dried, jarred and canned foods with good shelf life. Graham crackers, saltines, pretzels, trail mix/Jerky, Peanut Butter, Nuts, Canned Fruits and Veggies, Soy sauce, bouillons/gravy/soup base, remade Soups, stews, etc.

42. Vinegar. Tons of survival uses; it can be used for food preservation, flavoring, tenderizing, antibacterial, cleaning and probably about 100 other things! 

43. Baking soda. Another survival item with tons of uses.

44. MREs.


45. Bottled water. Will run out fast. How long would you survive if the water was cut off? Water storage and purification is one of the most important of all survival topics. It could be life or death!

46. Water containers. (Urgent Item to obtain). A recommended type is the Water Brick – which can be stackable and is portable and, being plastic, won’t smash (unlike glass) during an earthquake. These can also be used to dry-store food.

Note – not just any plastic container will do for water. Products should comply with regulations for storage of potable water (such as U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulation 21CFR 177.1520 (1) 3.1 and 3.2) and should not have been used previously for other substances, even for foods; you will never get it clean enough, so don’t even think about it, Plastics also come in varying qualities and for different purposes, and some leach chemicals. Water containers should be airtight and kept out of the sun; otherwise the water will not be drinkable for long.

47. Camp Shower. If there is a power outage, electric showers won’t be working. It’s amazing to be able to take a hot shower and you can either put warm water in one of these or you can leave it in the sun to heat the water. You can also rig one up to make a hand washing station. Maintaining sanitary conditions after a disaster is mission critical to preserving health and preventing disease – which is often the #1 cause of death after major disasters.

48. Water purification and filtering Equipment. An awesome water filter is the Big Berkey – this is a high quality unit. Consider also the inexpensive Lifestraw (rave reviews) which is ultra portable and “removes 99.999999% of waterborne bacteria (including E. coli and salmonella), and 99.999% of waterborne parasites (including giardia and cryptosporidium)”. Water purification tablets will also be a valuable commodity in a disaster scenario.

Water can be purified with sodium hypochlorite (bleach) and this is what is used for municipal water – however it is not exactly fantastic tasting. It will help preserve stored water, and then you can run it through a chlorine filter such as the Big Berkey before drinking.


49. Guns – handguns, rifles, Air rifles etc.

50. Ammunition. If TSHTF then the most common calibers will be better than cash. The .22 Rimfire is found wherever one can legally own weapons. 

You cannot have too much .22, .303, .38, 9mm, .223 .762 and 12ga ammo. Also consider other popular calibers: The .357 Magnum is perhaps the most versatile handgun cartridge. For big game hunting the .375 Holland and Holland is the most versatile round. The .458 Magnum is perhaps the most common round.

51. Standard issue self-defence tools. – Pepper Spray, Clubs etc.

52. Slingshot. Aka catapult. Not a toy. You can always collect small stones, whereas a rifle becomes useless as soon as you are out of ammo….

53. Archery gear. Bow and arrows, extra bowstrings, broadheads, fletching. You can still make arrows even when the last bullet has gone…

54. Knives and Knife Sharpening tools.

55. Fishing supplies. Fishing line has a ton of survival uses in addition to fishing.


56. Basic set of hand tools is a must. Hammer, screwdrivers, pliers with wire cutter, vice grips, hack saw etc.

57. Tomahawk – a classic ‘mountain man’ survival tool, primarily a woodsman’s tool but with innumerable other uses. Get one and learn how to use it. The type with the hammer head on the reverse side gives some options for further uses. Here’s a well-reviewed one we found on Amazon.

58. Woodworking / tree working tools. Bow saws, pruning saws, axes, hatchets and Wedges (also, honing oil)

59. Crowbar / Wrecking bar. This one is amazing and gets rave reviews: Stanley FatMax Xtreme 55-120 FuBar III. A demolition and zombie apocalypse survival essential. 😉

60. Multi tool. This one got loads of great reviews and is low cost.

61. All purpose survival tools such as the Trucker’s Friend All-Purpose Survival Tool (a serious piece of kit which has tons of uses!)

62. Portable power tools. – can’t go wrong with the Dewalt range of 20V portables. Great tools. With these, a small solar panel and a sine wave invertor, your power tool use is secured in a grid down scenario.
Wire and pliers

63. Survival Shovel. There is the basic folding “military style” shovel that most survivalists are aware of – but you might also wish to consider the more modern type of survival shovel which comes with multiple attachments to give numerous uses.

64. Sump pump. A marine essential and critical in any emergency that involves water / flooding.

65. Tools that can be used to make tools. – in particular, bladesmithing / sharpening and wood crafting tools – for example you can make a machete from a flat bar.

66. WD-40. Horrible stuff but everyone loves it and it has a ton of uses, so it will fly off the shelves.

67. Super glue. (loads of survival uses including wound suturing)


These are also fantastic trade and barter items – and like ammunition, will be better than currency if TSHTF. Life-or-death items will have the most value.

68. Essential prescriptions. – get these before you need them – and build a stock.

69. First aid kits. This is a great starter survival / first aid kit – 268pcs – rave reviews.

70. Latex and latex-free gloves.

71. Hydrogen peroxide. A survival essential – though difficult to store and has a relatively short shelf life

72. Antibiotics.

73. Antihistamine.

74. Hypodermic needles.

75. Dental kits. Dental emergencies are extremely common and not fun.

76. Pain meds. – Tylenol, ibuprofen, aspirin

77. Isopropyl alcohol (91%). Alcohol prep pads.

78. Contraceptives.

79. Combat Application Tourniquet.  Could be a lifesaver in case of bullet wound or animal attack. Learn how to use.

80. Foot care supplies. As any solider will tell you, foot care is mission critical.

81. Herbal Remedies. Learn the survival uses of echinacea, garlic, golden seal, aloe, cayenne, etc. 

82. Essential oils. For example, tea tree (everyone should have this in their survival kit!)

83. Aspirin, antacid, hydrocortisone cream, band-aids, antiseptic ointment, etc.  

84. IV supplies (needles, fluids). Get printed instructions on how to use, and keep them in the kit in case the person who knows how to use it is unconscious!

85. Activated charcoal powder. An inexpensive yet potentially life-saving item that most people forget. Countless survival uses including front line use against several types of poisoning.

86. Iodine. An old standard for cleaning cuts, scrapes and small wounds. Hospitals use to disinfect the skin before cutting into it in surgery or C-sections. Cheap, a little goes a long way and it has a long shelf life.


87. Portable Toilets. Probably the best for survival purposes is the “Luggable Loo”. It’s a toilet seat that sits on a 5 gallon bucket. Typically purchased for camping, but invaluable in an emergency as water is not needed. A trash bag is placed in the bucket, do your business then cover with wood ash (best) but you can use leaves, dirt, sawdust or kitty litter. No muss, no fuss and no odor. Every house should have one.

88. TOILET PAPER. One of the simple everyday items that you will most regret being without. ,Get the large rolls of toilet paper (1000-foot rolls). Toilet paper does not go off. You might as well stock up and get a big supply. Paper towels are also valuable.

89. Bar soap. Do not underestimate the survival value of frequent hand-washing!

90. Baby Wipes. – a survival essential!

91. Hand sanitizer. (saves a lot of water, but note that hand soap is generally better)

92. Dental floss. (has many survival uses including fishing line!)

93. Shaving supplies. (razors, razor blades and creams)

94. Washboards, Mop & Bucket w/wringer. (for Laundry)

95. Shampoo, Toothbrush/paste, Mouthwash, nail clippers, etc. You might as well stock up on toothbrushes as they keep indefinitely and you sure won’t want to be without one after TSHTF.

96. Feminine Hygiene/Haircare/Skin products. – tampons, pads, yeast infection supplies

97. Baby Supplies. Diapers / formula / ointments etc

98. Laundry detergent (Liquid) and dish soap.

99. Bleach. (plain, NOT scented: 4 to 6% sodium hypochlorite)

100. Chap stick. – has loads of survival uses also


101. Boots. – especially work / hiking boots + boot care supplies. The Dr. Martens 1490 is a classic for good reason but the lighter and more versatile military tactical type boot has come to the fore in recent years.

102. Gloves (Work/warming/gardening, etc). Good leather gloves are a godsend and will be used daily in a survival scenario. These Mechanic Work Gloves got a high number of 5-star reviews.

103. Thermal underwear. (Tops and bottoms)

104. Sleeping bags and blankets/pillows/mats.

105. Bandanas (pack of 12) / and or Tactical Desert Shemagh. The shemagh, also known as the Keffiyeh, Ghutra, Tactical Scarf or Arab Scarf is a 100% cotton scarf with an absolutely enormous number of survival uses – it should always be part of your kit. They give protection from the sun, Sand, and harsh winds when Hunting, Hiking, Climbing and Fishing. Not only are they for protection, they can be used as a blanket, Arm Sling, Sweat rag, camouflage and much more! Learn 10 simple ways to use a Shemagh here.

106. Wet weather clothing. Waterproof clothes, rain ponchos, rubberized boots, etc.

107. Cold weather clothes. Woolen clothing, ski gloves, balaclavas, gore-tex jackets, polartek fleece tops, winter hunter’s hat.

108. Hats. (check out this Indiana-Jones style outback Hat, belts Underwear, T-shirts, etc. (extras)

109. Socks. (pack them in ziplock bags and you will be really happy with your clean, dry socks!)


110. Off-the-shelf “survival kits” of all kinds, such as this one that got great reviews.

111. Ammo Cans – these are extremely durable and water resistant – making brilliant protection for what is inside them. Always popular with survivalists!

112. Respirators and dust masks. A survival essential.

113. Aluminum foil . Tons of uses – (Great Cooking and Barter item)

114. Garbage bags. Will become valuable if SHTF. Note – many brands are chemically perfumed to mask odors – and these should not be used for food or water storage.

115. Writing paper/pads/pencils.

116. Ziploc Bags. – numerous survival uses including keeping clean socks dry!

117. Plastic storage crates.

118. Zip ties.

119. Mylar space blankets. Tons of survival uses in addition to retaining body heat!

120. Ratchet Straps.

121. Lumber (all types). Real firewood will go fast, but if it is a real disaster there will likely be a lot of scrap wood laying around. But never burn painted, pressure-treated or creosote-treated wood – you won’t want to breathe the highly toxic fumes.

122. Plywood. Can board up broken windows but has tons of other survival uses. Good quality plywood is a desirable survival item and will go fast in an emergency.

123. PVC pipe. Owing to its number of uses, this will be in demand in a disaster.

124. Glow sticks. I hate these stupid toxic things but they can provide light, signaling and visibility when all else has failed.

125. Sandbags. Always useful and have numerous survival uses other than flood protection and dirt wall building.

126. Camping supplies. – tents, sleeping bags, camping pads, air mattresses

127. Insulated ice chests . (Also good for keeping items from freezing in Wintertime)

128. Tarpaulins. – especially durable, heavy duty, waterproofed

129. Backpacks and Duffel bags.

130. 550 paracord. A super valuable and versatile item. Tons of uses. Light, easy to transport.

131. Garden tools and supplies.

132. Canning supplies (Jars/lids/wax).

133. Sewing supplies, needle and thread. Because you will be repairing clothes rather than throwing them away and buying new.

134. Fire extinguishers .

135. Garbage cans – plastic. (great for storage, water collecting, transporting – if with wheels)

136. Duct tape and / or gaffer’s tape. This is a top brand that even works in the wet – high quality tape, look at the reviews!

137. Rope.

138. Candles. A survival essential. Choose plain, long burning candles, without lead in the wicks. For example these Utility Candles. A most recommended item to stockpile as these don’t go off, provide warmth, flame, light and comfort. Known to be one of the most highly bartered items in a real survival scenario.

139. Glue, nails, screws, nuts and bolts, etc.

140. Paraffin wax.

141. Chicken wire, barbed wire and other fencing materials.


142. Mousetraps, Rat Traps Ant traps, cockroach traps and baits.

143. Mosquito nets, window mesh screen and screen patches. A genuine life saver in many climates. You do not want dengue fever, West Nile virus or malaria even in normal times; in SHTF those things could well be the end of you. Yes, a mosquito bite has killed more humans than almost anything else since the dawn of civilization. This is a very serious item to prep for!

144. Mosquito traps, mosquito coils/repellent sprays/creams.

145. Insect repellents in general . Learn about Essential oil formulas for ticks and fleas etc.


146. 2 Way Radio. This set of two got loads of 5 star reviews.

147. Emergency radio. This awesome one covers AM/FM/SW/NOAA and has multiple power options including built in solar panel, dynamo crank, battery and USB input.

148. Hand crank lantern with USB in and out. (can be used to charge devices!) A perfect survival gadget!

149. Solar Panels. Most fuels will disappear quite quickly, so it’s best if you can generate your own power. This 20W solar panel comes with its own charge controller and connectors. Very reasonably priced and great reviews.

150. Battery operated LED candles and lights.

151. Batteries of all kinds. Good to get at least one pack of all the types you use regularly. Many these days are good for 10 years but check the expiry date and rotate your stock. Here’s a pack of 24 Energizer-AA Max on Amazon that is rated as storable for up to 10 years or for 2 years in a device, as well as being zero mercury.

152. Rechargeable batteries with solar chargers.

153. Flashlights and torches.

154. Headlamp. A survival essential! This headlamp got rave reviews on Amazon and is under $15.

155. Emergency phone charger power packs. These mini-power packs are outdoor-ready, can charge a mobile device several times and many also include the option of a built in small solar panel, enabling them to provide true mobile power for your device during a longer outage.

156. Inverters. These convert a lower DC voltage (typically 12 volt) into AC in order to power your mains power devices. They are a vital part of an off-grid solar installation yet also provide power for boats, RVs and other vehicles, enabling tools and electronics to be run from the battery. Pure sine wave inverters produce a better quality power while “modified sine” inverters are cheaper yet may potentially harm some electronic devices over time due to the “dirty power” they produce. Good brands include Go Power, AIMS and Xantrex.


157. Off road / “enduro” motorbike. – high MPG, can go where most things can’t, get out of trouble fast and relatively easy to maintain.

Remember that as soon as the fuel tank on your car runs dry, it is just about useless. In a real SHTF scenario, gasoline will become very valuable, very fast. But would likely make you a target – plus it is difficult and dangerous to store.

158. Horses. Used to be highly prized for good reason. Horses were considered so valuable that they used to hang horse thieves! A mare can live on grass and make getting around & trading possible, and can produce more horses.

159. Wagons, trailers and carts.

160. Spark plugs, tires, engine oil. – will make good currency items if TSHTF

161. Boats. . If you live near water of any kind a boat, canoe, raft, kayak will give you tremendous advantage over those without. 

162. Mountain bike + spare tire, basic repair kit, spare chain, chain tool and other spares. Will keep you moving when no fuel is available and can cross a wide variety of terrain – both urban and country – almost silently, faster than on foot.


Survival books – especially those talking about medical skills and food preservation. Pack these in your kit and then you can read them on those long nights without the TV when the power has gone out… 😉

163. Survival Hacks: Over 200 Ways to Use Everyday Items for Wilderness Survival.

164. SAS Survival Handbook, Third Edition: The Ultimate Guide to Surviving Anywhere.

165. The Official US Army Survival Guide – Updated Edition (FM 3-05.70 / FM 21-76): Complete & Unabridged, 600+ Pages (Carlile Military Library).

166. Physicians Desk Reference, 71st Edition.

167. The American Red Cross First Aid and Safety Handbook.

168. Boy Scout Handbook – 2016 Edition.

169. “Food For Free” by Richard Mabey. (note – for plants of the United Kingdom)

170. Maps (and compass).

Final Notes And Survival Tips

• Beyond all this, remember that the first things to disappear if TSHTF will not be things…. common sense, goodwill and sanity will in many people be replaced by insanity, desperation, greed and stupidity. And when people are starving, they will start doing extreme things and will stop being ‘nice’.

• Keep your valuables hidden – it’s best if people don’t even know they exist. Don’t make yourself appear to be a “loaded galleon” – a visible target for the greedy and the desperate.

• Another prepping tip: It’s best to stock up on the things you already use a lot of, before buying a load of stuff that you have never once needed so far in your life. But be aware also that some things you have never needed so far might save your life one day, so plan carefully.

Do not acquire more than you can store properly. You should also think about what you can carry. All this stuff isn’t much use if you have to leave it all behind…… So you should consider whether you are prepping to bug in or bug out. If you are bugging out, you only want what you / your bug-out vehicle can carry. If you are bugging in, then stack ’em high.

• Remember the mottoes “UNITED WE STAND, DIVIDED WE FALL”, and “Knowledge weighs nothing”… Think about items and skills that will make you friends and allies, rather than making people envious. In a survival situation, it is better to be valuable than to have valuables. Ask yourself, would you be considered more valuable alive or dead? Because a man with gold coins and no knowledge is in much more danger than a skilled doctor with no gold….

What’s Missing?

What do you think will disappear before the items on this list? Let us know in the comments. Here’s our Pinterest graphic:

The 170 Items That Will Disappear First In A Disaster - Stock Up On These Now
Graphics © off-grid.info. Photos – Amazon (with permission)

Why Mylar Bags Are Your Food Storage’s Secret Weapon

Why Mylar Bags Are Your Food Storage’s Secret Weapon
image – BisonRMA

There are six enemies of food storage; oxygen, temperature, moisture, light, time, and pests. Each of them or any combination could cause food spoilage. There is a solution for long-term food storage – mylar bags – which can help keep your food safe from the five of the six nemeses of storing food items. These bags are ideal for off-grid survival, backpacking, or camping in the woods.

Mylar was a type of plastic product developed by DuPont Chemical Co. in the 1950s. Made from a polyester film, mylar bags are extremely light, flexible, and thin. The strength and durability of mylar bags are perfect for high atmospheric helium balloons, solar filters, emergency space blankets, and insulators. Mylar bags allow you to keep things such as rice and pasta for long-term storage if you are planning to build a stockpile for emergency preparedness. These bags could help you keep your dry goods fresh and safe from rodents and spoilage for years.

Mylar locks moisture both in and out – and you need an oxygen absorber or a desiccant packet when using your mylar bags for storing dry goods such as flour, rice, coffee, tea, spices, sugar, or bread. It is imperative to research which foods need an oxygen absorber or a desiccant packet. Desiccant packets are good for sugar and salt since they are natural preservatives. Pasta and flour need oxygen absorbers to extend their shelf life.

There are several benefits offered by mylar bags. Some of them are outlined below:

• Mylar bags are airtight, moisture proof, and resistant to puncture (except by the pesky rodents – so you will need to place them inside rodent-proof containers if this is a potential problem, which it generally is).

• They are specifically designed for food and contain no chemicals or toxins which could be released into your food.

• The bags do not allow any light to get into the foods stored in them.

• Sealing mylar bags is easy using a heating element such as iron.

• Mylar bags ensure that you have a long shelf life of survival food.

• They are simple to use – just cut them to size and seal up with an iron.

There are several sizes of mylar bags. Spices, baking powders, and dehydrated meats and fruits are the smaller food items that can be stored in one-gallon mylar bags. The five-gallon size is perfect for larger bulk grains such as rice, beans, wheat, etc.

Thickness is essential to the quality of mylar bags. The typical range of options is between 3.5 and 7 mils. The thicker the mylar bag, the better it is to keep out moisture, oxygen, and light. Moisture can lead to microbial growth while oxygen is an important factor in the quality deterioration of foods.

There are mylar bags that have a zipper on the top and a gusset on the bottom. The most common used is the plain open top bag that is sealed with heat. The zip top bags come handy when using a food item for a short-term seal. Do not use the zip top as an option for long-term storage.

Notes on desiccants and oxygen absorbers:

• Absorbers that are used up are brittle inside and feel more like they are filled with coarse sand.

• Fresh absorbers feel like they are filled with soft powder.

• Oxygen absorbers only remove oxygen from the air; not all air.

• Do not expect absorbers to “vacuum pack” your mylar bags.

• Do not use a desiccant along with oxygen absorbers. The former can keep the latter from working properly.

OK, here is a video:

Startup 3D Prints Smart Homes That Run Off-Grid On Solar Power

Startup 3D Prints Smart Homes That Run Off-Grid On Solar Power
image – Space4living

PassivDom is a Ukrainian startup that is taking house construction to a new level. The company is the maker of the world’s first autonomously manufactured house. It is also a mobile and transportable house that runs off-grid on solar power.

The innovators set out to manufacture portable, off-grid homes that come fully equipped and furnished with smart home features. As 3D printing continues to make headway in housing, PassivDom posits itself as a creator of small, modular homes that can be easily transported and installed anywhere.

This smart home runs completely on solar energy and features a water storage system that will allow its denizens to live completely off-grid, with zero utility bills. Its designers chose advanced materials such as carbon and fiberglass for the frame, in order to deliver a high thermal performance. The frame is six times stronger than steel and is as sturdy as traditional brick walls!

Some of the innovative features of the PassivDom house include Zero Carbon emission, 3D-printed prefabricated frame, autonomous off-grid power, self-learning smart home system, and mobile modular house. Household appliances only use electricity generated by photovoltaic cells. The solar panels are installed to satisfy the house’s needs, which include heating and cooling, air purification, water and carbon dioxide control.

The off-grid house’s engineering systems are listed below:

• air recuperation system
• heat pump for heating and cooling with a remote-controlled thermostat
• air quality medic HEPA system
• photovoltaic off-grid system powered by batteries
• gray water filtration system with heat recovery
• heat energy storage
• boiler
• water tank

Occupants of the off-grid house can use devices that are connected to the Internet of Things network. They will be able to manage these devices remotely via mobile an iPhone and Android device. An online service system allows for distance monitoring and fault prevention.

As of this writing, PassivDom only builds 36-square-meter and 72-square-meter units. If you want a bare-bones small (36m) version of the house which has no furniture, kitchen, and bathroom, you need to shell out $33,000, according to the company’s website. It will cost you $44,000 and $67,000 if you go for the standard and full-featured versions, respectively. The latter requires connection to power, water, and sewage line. The larger, double options (72m) sell for $108,000 for the off-grid and $85,300 for the standard and bare-bones versions.

The company’s team of engineers and designers use 3D-printing to create the house frame, walls, roof, and ceiling, and floor. When compared to traditional construction techniques, 3D printing is cheaper and more efficient, says CEO Maxim Gerbut. Assembly of the house – astonishingly – only takes a day so that the owners can move in the evening! The company also boasts that every part of the house is recyclable. And since the house does not need fixed foundations, building permits could potentially be bypassed in some locations.

The PassivDom house is an ideal alternative to would-be homeowners who prefer to live in a private residence or secluded cottage. Its modularity allows easy installation on a piece of land without the usual hassles of house construction.

Here’s a video: