Let’s make a few assumptions, here, before we start:
1) You have at least a year’s supply of food and water, in a safe, transportable
manner for your whole family/crew/group.
2) You have a secure location, and you are all safely-arrived there after
“Something Bad” has happened.
3) You have the means to protect your location, by whatever means.
4) You have warm/cool/dry enough accommodations (tents, RV’s, cabins, yurts,
whatever your choice…)
5) You have stored seeds and an adequate supply of local wildlife to produce
food for yourselves.
You’re in Fat City, right? You’re all hooked-up.
Did you ever consider what you plan to do with all of that food when the time comes
to eat it?
After a week of MRE’s ( I admit they are better than the infamous can of Ham and
Lima Beans of the Vietnam era, but not much) or Canned Pork and Beans heated in a
canteen cup, people will start to complain, loudly. This is a guarantee.
No one is going to expect 4-Star cuisine after a disaster (and if they do, you might
want to reconsider including them in your group..) but, a hot, tasty meal is,
perhaps the best way to keep up morale, when everything else has Gone West.
I will be the first to admit that I keep ‘minimal’ cooking equipment in my 72-hour
“Get-Home Bags” (small gear stored in stainless steel ‘flan molds’ that can be used
as cooking pots, stainless steel chopsticks, a spork, salt, herbs and spices in a pill-pack
and folding knives), but that is for ‘stuck 3 days’ not a life-changing disaster
(i.e. TSHTF), but if you are planning on any real length of time (like for the
rest of your life), I would strongly suggest a better survival kitchen than a
tin can and a Kabar that you ‘sharpened’ on a rock.
Here are a few ‘minimal’ survival kitchen ideas:
A 5, 7, or 9 qt Dutch oven with a lid. Spend the extra cash to get the wire-bail
handle. You will get burned less often and you can hang it from a tripod over a fire.
A cast-iron skillet the same diameter as the Dutch oven, so you can re-use the lid.
A good-quality 8-inch chef’s knife ( I prefer Santuko shape, but a French knife
A good quality paring knife ( A Mora ‘Sloyd’ craft knife works admirably)
A good utility knife – I love my antique Herter’s model, but Cold Steel’s “Canadian
Belt Knife” can do a lot in a small, light package.
A serrated Y-shaped vegetable peeler
A long, serrated “bread knife”
A set of sharpening stones (coarse, medium, fine, Arkansas stone)
A “Crock-Stick” – the typical chef’s steel LOOKS cool and flashy, but it can mess up an edge faster
than you can imagine. Take your time with the Crock Stick, and you can shave
with yout kitchen knife, and sharpen less often.
A small triangular Crock Stick to tune up the serrated blades (often sold as hook sharpeners).
A good, long set of tongs, or 5 – they are handy.
Wood, or nylon spoons and spatulas (metal will kill your pans, trust me… Dollar
Stores are your friend)
At least 1 “BigAss Pot” – 20-30 quart – canning, chili/stew/soup-making, cooking ‘windfall’
items that come your way quickly. The heavier the bottom of the pot, the better
“BUT”, I hear you say – that stuff is expensive.. I can get more pork and beans and
Three words, young padawan.. “Restaurant Supply Store”. A net-search (or phone book)
for one in your area will open up whole new vistas of affordable equipment. Most
don’t care if you own a restaurant, they’ll sell you tools. Talk to the owners
and staff- make friends and you can almost always get great deals, above and
beyond already-cheap prices. (last week I picked up a 10-inch “steak scimitar”
butchering knife, that I have seen online for $27 – a good deal, for $8, just sayin’)
Go local, and you definitely beat ‘megamart’ prices, beat many online prices, and,
just maybe, make new friends who can help if TSHTF.
The food will be better, in any case, and that can be the difference between
just surviving, and living well in a new situation