Creating a Prepper’s Pantry
Your pantry’s location is critical. It must provide perfect conditions for preventing rot and pests while organising your supplies.
High humidity and temperatures increase decomposition by fostering the growth of bacteria and fungi. Direct light exposure can result in a chemical reaction known as photodegradation.
Photodegradation wreaks havoc on the colours, vitamins, and nutrients included in food and the packaging. Protect your food from direct sunlight using thick curtains or shutters on your windows.
It is also critical to select a location with minimal temperature variations. Temperature changes can be as damaging as direct heat and light, so a pantry should not be placed in the garage.
To keep their supplies relatively quiet during a power outage, many preppers store them in the coldest part of the house, such as the basement or attic.
It’s also a plus if your pantry has shelving, which makes management more accessible and more efficient. Here’s a quick and straightforward method for assembling an outstanding pantry system:
A small-space prepper pantry.
But what if you don’t have a basement, attic, or space? How can you keep food if you don’t have any space?
Many prepper households have limited space, but a little imagination and innovation may go a long way.
Any unused room in your house can be transformed into a food storage area. You can do it yourself and create a tiny room with storage space to keep your materials carefully.
Use the cupboard under the stairs, an old wardrobe, or a crawl space if you have one. Existing furniture can be outfitted with pull-out shelves and vertical storage solutions. Under your bed, pull-out shelves for storing cans can be installed.
What kind of storage do you require?
Now that you know what kind of food you want and where to store it, you must choose what supplies best suit your needs.
To freeze your food and increase its shelf life, you will need the following goods: regular cans, containers, and jars.
Mylar bags are one of the most commonly used products for long-term food storage. If you keep at least some of your food in Mylar bags, you’re getting all the benefits.
These metallised bags are the same material as space blankets, making them lightweight and flexible while remaining incredibly sturdy. Their muscular tensile strength keeps them from easily breaking or tearing. They’re also great for shielding food from sun damage and oxidation.
There is a wide range of Mylar bag sizes and wall thicknesses available. The most typical sizes are 1-gallon bags (generally with a ziplock mechanism) and 5-gallon bags, which can be used to line food buckets.
Regarding thickness, 4.3 mils or higher is ideal, but remember that thicker Mylar bags are typically more expensive. So, before shopping for Mylar bags, think about what you want to store.
Mylar bags help repackage various dry commodities, including cereals and beans, baked goods like flour, sugar, baking powder, and even medications, especially light-sensitive drugs like antibiotics and vitamins.
As previously stated, Mylar bags do not have zippers. Therefore, you will need to seal them using a heat sealer or, if money is tight, a smoothing or standard iron. Here are some recommendations for sealing Mylar bags:
Allow a few inches in your Mylar bag for sealing.
First, test the seal’s heat. If the heat is insufficient, the seal will not form properly, and if you overheat your Mylar bags, they will burn.
To avoid breaking, ensure the edges you seal are smooth and clear of debris or other particles.
Apply an oxygen absorber before closing the mylar bags to avoid spoiling.
Buckets brimming with food
5-gallon buckets are another great way to store food. They are excellent for safeguarding food from heat, moisture, and bugs since they preserve it in an airtight environment.
The lids of these buckets are frequently affixed with a rubber mallet. It would help if you also had a lid remover ready because the lids are frequently rigid to remove.
The lids are damaged or missing entirely in certain circumstances, especially on secondhand buckets. Standard lids are available separately, or gamma lids can be used in their place.
Unlike standard lids, gamma lids may be twisted on and off and fit most buckets without being knocked in. They are a little more expensive, but they protect your food better.
As previously stated, 5-gallon Mylar bags can line the inside of your food storage buckets. In these containers, store cereal, granola, flour, sugar, and liquids such as vegetable oil. Another possibility is to keep several Mylar bags in a single bucket. Just ensure the buckets are food-grade plastic so no harmful chemicals leech into your food.
The incredible thing about these buckets is that you can get them for very little, if not nothing. If you’re recycling a food bucket, ensure it’s never been used for anything other than food. Buckets containing potentially dangerous substances should never be utilised.
When storing these buckets, do not stack them too high to avoid breaking the lids.
Also, remember to name the buckets!
Absorbers of oxygen
Any food storage system would benefit greatly from the addition of oxygen absorbers. These simple items can significantly increase the shelf life of your food.
In an oxygen-rich atmosphere, bacteria and fungi thrive. Because this element affects vitamins, flavour, and other dietary components, apples and potatoes turn black when exposed to air. This is avoidable by utilising oxygen absorbers. The iron powder within these packets acts as an oxygen sponge. Furthermore, when there is less oxygen in the air, the chance of spoiling decreases.
Safely storing O2 absorbers next to perishable food is a viable option. Place an oxygen absorber or two on top of your dry products before sealing them to lengthen their shelf life.