While you may have a dependable and constant electricity source, if you think about it for a second, you’ll realize that a natural disaster, a hurricane, a flood and even a simple fire can easily leave you without it.
Hundreds of thousands of people can therefore be greatly affected if the grid fails for a few days, since without the means to refrigerate food, your chances of survival will go down faster than a brick thrown in a lake.
But hey, people didn’t always have refrigerators they could use in order to store their food and make sure that it doesn’t get bad.
So how did they do it?
Well, if you’ve been out camping for a few times already, you have a basic understanding of what you need to do to make a fire, how to boil water and so forth. The thing is that based on the resources in your environment, there can be many other alternatives to keeping your family and yourself properly fed and below we are going to take a better look at some of them.
1. Types of foods and how to preserve them
There are 2 main types of foods you can prepare and they include non-perishable and perishable foods.
The latter are foods that unless consumed in a certain period of time and unless they’re stored in a specific environment, they are going to get bad.
Some examples that come to mind right now include milk, fresh vegetables and of course, meat. Non-perishable foods on the other hand are generally dry and this means they won’t get bad if you don’t refrigerate them.
Some of the most common examples of non-perishable foods include sugar, rice, wheat, beans and canned goods.
2. Water bath canning
Let’s say you live in a remote area and electricity has just been cut off by a storm. Your food supplies are generally perishable goods that are stored in fridges and you need to keep them fresh for as long as possible.
What do you do?
Well, if you are good with it, maybe you would like to consider some primitive canning.
This means you’ll can food without using electricity and for this you need to gather a few supplies, such as vinegar or salt, lots of sugar, metal canning lids, jars made of glass, a stockpot and a fire. These ingredients are of course going to depend on what you want to can.
To begin with, you need to sterilize the jars and the best way to do this is to boil them. If you don’t have any available, then consider using your jelly or pickle jars.
Don’t forget to boil the lids as well. After they have boiled for a while, it’s time that you remove them from the hot water by using metal tongs and then allowing them to cool off for 15 to 20 minutes. Even if you removed them from the pot, add more water to it and keep it boiling.
In the meantime, you need to consider mixing up your fillings.
For example, if you want to store vegetables, you need to mix them with plenty of salt, while when it comes to storing fruits, you need to mix them with a dash of salt and sugar.
But what if you have a lot of leftover soup that you want to preserve?
Well, you need to add extra salt to it, since this is a very good preservative that people have used for hundreds of years.
Next, you need to fill your glass jars almost to the top and then place them in the pot with the boiling water once again.
The water will of course need to reach the neck of the jars and the amount of time you need to boil the jars depends on what you want to can. However, regardless of this aspect, you will still need to consider boiling them in the end for forty five minutes. After you’ve boiled them, get your sterile tongs and remove them from the boiling water, followed by screwing the canning lids into place.
Finally, you need to let them cool off and deposit them on a shelf in a dark and cool place.
3. Refrigerate your foods using water
Did you know that in the past people used rivers in order to keep perishable foods safe from bacteria?
Cool rivers and running waters were the refrigerators of the past and they were very effective when it comes to helping people preserve food. For example, you have just butchered some meat and you want to preserve it, but the electricity is out for one or more days.
What do you do?
Well, you can use a basket made of dense wicker and then make sure the food inside is not going to be eaten by animals or fish by putting it in a burlap sack. After that, all you need to do is find the coolest part of the river and dive your food there. Of course, since the water is continuously running, you need to weigh your sack down under a few rocks. This method is very effective if you want to preserve your food for around twenty-four hours before coking it.
The aforementioned tips presumed that you’re outside a town, but if you face an urban disaster situation, what can you do?
Well, first of all you need to get to a safe place and then consider visiting local stores or houses to find food. This is a survival method that should only be considered if there are no other alternatives available, so bear that in mind. The best way to scavenge for food starts by scavenging the homes of people who have just left.
Chances are that they didn’t take everything with them and you may still find some foods left behind. It’s important to treat each house with respect and don’t do things you would never do if it were your home. Even if you find food you think you won’t need, take it, since along the way you may find individuals who want it and can therefore negotiate a trade.
If want to learn more, just click here to learn more about how to cook and store food outside.