I have a few questions regarding the must have to live things, with a family, as you know there seems to be a lot more pressure to get things right. I do have shelter (home on acreage), I did buy one of the water filters you recommended to either pump from water source or hook to faucet (bought adapter). We do have a lot of water sources on properly, running creek, pond and a cistern that collects underground water.
So I feel ok with shelter and water (might by extra water filter though) but I do not feel like I have enough food (family of 5), we have a little bit of everything regarding food but not a lot of anything. We are trying to stock up as money comes in (slowly).
I would like to spend the next money coming in on a type of food that will keep my family alive (worst cause) for extended period of time (1 year) and then from there start adding in with the variety of foods as time allows. I guess I think we are on a short time line and I would like to get the life saving essentials first and then start working back to the so called luxury ( if you can call Pudding a luxury) things if time allows.
I am in good shape (followed your book) with other things, guns, ammo, flashlights, batteries, etc. even bought two of your books, incase something happened to one of them.
The food is just really bothering me with the short time I think we might have. I was thinking as many pounds (how many pounds) of lentils I could store, along with a bunch of tang.
What is your thoughts on suataning life foods, and then I will work backwards from there.
The good news is that you seem to have one of the most important issues settled: water.
You already have a filter. Get extra filter spares for your water filter if its the kind that has removable ones. i also bought a spare adaptor for mine. Its a cheap piece of plastic but very hard to improvise if it cracks.
First thing I'd do if I were you, get busy putting aside extra plastic containers with water. Ad a couple drops of chlorine and leave them in a dry, dark place. (Dark is important because if you leave it exposed to sun you may end up with algea growing inside) I know you have many water sources but emergency water should still be set aside. You never know what may happen one day: water supply drying up, getting contaminated, you being to weak/injured to go outside to gahter it just to mention a couple.
Its funny how some people have lots of gas for their generator but little water stored. More containers full of fuel than full of water is a sign of bad preparedness. I can live nice and happy without fuel for a long period of time. Take away water and the clock is ticking for me.
Its not hard to come up with a year supply of food, specially if you work it up little by little. For example I know that for my family, one small bag of lentils provides three meals, combined with 1/5 of a rice box, both out of the counter on any supermarket.
I'd recommend not using tables of pounds per person, you can be much more realistic and efficient by just noting how much of everything your own family eats up. Buy x amounts of meals, not pounds.
Of course, as you read in the book, ordinary supermarket food works for a year supply (or two) if you know what you are looking for.
çYou're in USA, take advantage of that. Use the coupons and discounts or sales as you come by them. ( For example, Spam or canned tuna for sale, stock up on it for cents!)
Dried pasta ( carbs) tuna (omega 3, proteins, fats) and canned meat ( fat and proteins) condensated or dried milk ( calcium, specially for kids and elders)
canned vegetables and dried legumes(vitamins, minerals) work your way towards a balanaced died that has both long term shelf life and does not require refrigeration. Dont forget salt, sugar, tang, chocolate, tea, coffee, flour, etc.
Regarding growing food and having live stock, I wouldn't go beyond a small orchard and small critters ( the size of chicken or rabbit)
This will also depend on the kind of productivity nad income you have. No use in spending most of your day working a small field when is much more productive for you to do other more lucrative activities that can allow you to afford much more resources.
My wife for example, she likes gardening. She enjoys it and she's jsut good at it. You know, the green finger type of person that just throws something in the dirt and likek magic has a plant there a few weeks later. OF course it makes sense for her to have a small orchard. Its both theraphy and a productive hobby/activity for her.
But keep in mind the prodcutive/time/money ratio before thinking about becoming a part time farmer (there's no such thing as a part time farmer:- ) )
PS: So guys, vacations are over and I'm going back to Buenos Aires. Wish me luck folks!