Forward Thinking: Ready Set Prep Summit

Gaye Levy Gaye Levy  |  Updated: December 16, 2020
Forward Thinking: Ready Set Prep Summit

Man carrying food to storageLast week it was my privilege to attend the Ready Set Prep Summit sponsored by This was a by invitation only event that was held in Dallas, Texas and attended by over 16 members of the online preparedness and survival community. Food Insurance called us “forward thinkers”. Imagine that!

The agenda included a social and networking event where I became acquainted with the owners of some really cool websites. I was thrilled to not only to meet some new folks but also a few of my online friends that I have been working with these past few years. During this time I was able to chat with almost everyone individually and to share our common ideas and philosophies not only about prepping but also about their own sub-niches within the prepping space.

The next day there were presentations by industry experts, a food tasting and some insightful website evaluations from some marketing and social media gurus.

The focus throughout the summit was the mainstreaming of prepping and the responsibility we share for delivering actual and factual solutions Ready Set Prep Summit Glenn Beckto our readers. As you know, this is something I feel passionately about so when one presenter suggested – no encouraged – us to discontinue and drop the term “prepping” from our vocabulary, I had to stand up and disagree.

Our day ended with a visit to the Glenn Beck Blaze TV studio where Mark Hyland, the CEO of Food Insurance plus the panelists participated in a live broadcast of the March 21st show. No matter what you might think of Glenn, he was warm and gracious and spent a few minutes chatting with us and posting for photos.


I have given quite a bit of thought to the mainstreaming of prepping. One reason I feel that prepping has come into its own is that right now, things are crazy difficult and crazy uncertain. In times like this, people want something to cling to that they can control.

Gathering supplies, growing food, learning DIY skills and becoming self-sufficient are things we can all do on our own. We can do these things with the satisfaction of knowing that we have majority control over their outcomes in a world where so much seems beyond our reach.

And I don’t know – for me at least it means that I can take charge of my life instead of being someone else’s puppet. Does that make sense? Do you feel the same?


As I mentioned above, we were treated to a blind taste test consisting of five different freeze dried meal samples from five different companies. This was truly blind. As you can see in the photo, we were given little numbered cups and were asked to rate each on a 1 to 10 scale plus add our comments.

Ready Set Prep Summit 004

The results? The product supplied by our host, came in first. I honestly believe that even they were a bit surprised at this but it is true. As our group compared notes after the fact, we agreed that the Food Insurance product was the tastiest and that it had the best texture.

In addition to tasting the meal type products, we also sampled some freeze dried pineapple and freeze dried corn. Oh my gosh – they were so sweet I could have snacked on these all day long. I did learn something, though. That is that if you eat too much of any un-reconstituted freeze dried product, it can and will expand in your stomach and cause some digestive distress.


I can not say enough good things about our host, They paid for our travel and put together a day of relevant activities for us without once asking us for a thing. Of course I am sure they would like us to recommend their product line (more about that later) but not once did they bring that up.

Instead they focused on learning about readers and our own expertise when it comes to preparedness.

FoodInsurance 002So what is Food Insurance? Food Insurance offers short and long term solutions to your food storage needs. This includes gourmet meals in pouches with a 7 to 10 year shelf life and the same meals and individual items (such as that delicious FD pineapple and corn) in #10 cans. They also have two-week and one-month kits plus gluten-fee and vegetarian meals plans. All kinds of stuff, really.

Something else that they did at the Summit was to present us each with one of their lightweight, weather resistant backpacks plus a portable water bottle and filter. Not being bashful, I asked if I could give away the same backpack and water bottle to one of my readers. And of course, being the nice folks that they are, they said yes. So how cool is that?


To win the Food Insurance backpack and water filter, all you will need to do is to submit a comment at the end of this article telling me about your greatest food storage challenge. That’s it – easy peasy.

The giveaway will run until April 14th and as always, the winner will be selected at random.FoodInsurance 003

Please note that Food Insurance will also be sending out a special promotion to everyone that enters the giveaway contest although you can be easily able to opt-out of future emails.


Here is a list of the attendees with a link to their websites. I hope you will take a few moments to visit each of them to see if there is something useful to help you along your own path toward preparedness.

Common Sense Preparedness (Presenter)
Food Storage and Survival
Nautical Prepper
Off Grid Survival
Practical Preppers
Prepper Podcast Radio Network
Simply Canning
Solutions For Preparedness (Presenter)
Stealth Survival
Survival And Prosperity
Survival Common Sense
Survival Joe
Tactical Intelligence
The Doomsday Moose
Waging War On Debt (Presenter)
Food Insurance (Host)


There is widely held mindset that a disaster or a crisis is something that happens to other people. I call that Disaster Denial.

Of course you know and I know that crisis events happen all the time and can include all types of scenarios – from job loss, to sickness, to natural disasters, to civil unrest and more. And even though people see and witness these events as they unfold around them, they still think that it will never happen to them – only to someone else.

Being prepared is something we all need to do to regain control of our lives in an out-of-control world. By being in control, we can prevail in spite of the mayhem round us. That, to me, is why prepping is moving in to the mainstream.

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!


If you have not done so already, please be sure to like Backdoor Survival on Facebook to be updated every time there is an awesome new article, news byte, or free survival, prepping or homesteading book on Amazon.

In addition, when you sign up to receive email updates you will receive a free, downloadable copy of my e-book The Emergency Food Buyer’s Guide.

From the Bargain Bin: It has been a while since I shared some of my favorite food storage items. Whether you are just getting started or a seasoned pro, here are the items you will need when purchasing food in bulk for long term, SHTF needs.

Mylar bags & Oxygen Absorbers: What I love about Mylar bags and oxygen absorbers is they protect against every single one of the food storage enemies. Prices do vary but for the most part, they are inexpensive and easy to keep on hand. And while you can seal them up with a FoodSaver, some tubing and a common clothes iron, I find it infinitely easier with a cheap hair straightening iron that you can pick up for very cheap.

60 – 300cc Oxygen Absorbers: This is one area where you want to make sure you are getting a quality product.

Mylar Zip seal Food Storage Bags: These are the zip seal bags that I used to package up my butter powder. These are extra heavy, 5 mil bags. I found that the zip feature made packaging extra easy. The jury is still out as to whether the zip feature is worth the extra cost.

FoodSaver Vacuum Sealer: As long as the unit has an accessory port (and this one does), and inexpensive FoodSaver will work just as well as the fancier models. That is my two cents, at least.

FoodSaver Jar Sealer: Already have a FoodSaver? If so, check out this jar sealer which can be used to vacuum seal your Mason jars. This is a great option for short to mid term storage of items such as beans, rice, sugar and salt. Store your jars in a cool, dark place and you are set with the added advantage of removing a small amount for current use without having to disrupt your large Mylar bag or bucket of food.

Sharpie Permanent Markers: Sharpies were invented for preppers! And without question, Amazon is the cheapest place to buy them.

Avery Color Coding Labels: These are perfect for labeling your emergency storage foods with the date purchased.

Sign up to receive your free the TOP 50 Must-Have Emergency Items list and other exclusive preparedness tips and special offers from FOOD INSURANCE.

Shop the Emergency Essentials Monthly Specials: The monthly specials at Emergency Essentials feature discounts of up to 35% off sometimes a bit more.

Fruit Combo

I eat a lot of fruit (usually three whole fruits a night as a bedtime snack) and in a SHTF situation, fruits will be something I will really miss. The Freeze-Dried Fruit Favorites Combo from Emergency Essentials is something I use all year round. With the grocery store a 20 mile round trip journey, I like the thought of being able to rehydrate my own fruit, in the quantity I want, at a moments notice.

The selection includes Apple Dices, Bananas, Peaches, Pineapple Dices, Blueberries and Strawberries.

But not to be left out, there are veggies too. The deluxe supply of Freeze Dried Vegetables includes 18 #10 tins of the following veggies in various quantities: Broccoli, Cauliflower, Sweet Corn, Green Beans, Green Peppers, Green Peas, Mushrooms, Potato Dices, Spinach, and White Onions.

Like this and want more?

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205 Responses to “Forward Thinking: Ready Set Prep Summit”

  1. I am currently living overseas with my daughter and her family. As it seems unlikely I will be able to get a visa I will likely be heading back to North America in a few months. I will be on a very tight budget (I am a pensioner). My biggest challenge will be starting with absolutely nothing and very little cash. Nevertheless laying in emergency supplies will be a very high priority.

  2. Our biggest challenge to prepping has definitely been being a military family. Unable to establish roots or a homestead of any kind we are moving every 2-3 years. There are weight restrictions with every move. Then of course the constant challenge of finding a new house to rent with enough storage for our one year supply of food and many other items. If we cannot find a home quick enough then all of our preps would go into temporary government storage-not an ideal situation when the SHTF. We are constantly reevaluating our situation and planning.
    A lot of the time has been spent with hubby deployed to a war zone and the knowledge that it would be very difficult if not impossible for him to ever make it home in a grid down situation. So we plan, we adapt, work with what we are given and breathe a sigh of relief every time his plane touches down on American soil.

  3. Our biggest food challenge is also budgetary – having enough money to put extra food by when we struggle to make sure there’s enough food month to month for daily needs. But we’re learning, stretching and growing. No where near ready – but working on it!

  4. Our biggest challenge has to be finding like minded people and getting ready to bug out. Bug out? Where? How? Where do you go when there’s no place to go?

  5. My biggest challenge this past year was to get the biggest canner I could find and learn to can food! I got an All American and am now addicted to canning and dehydrating everything I can get my hands on!! I also just got a small greenhouse to grow my own GMO free veggies! I was in a motorcycle accident in 2005 and ended up losing my job of 23 years so that was pretty traumatic for a girl like me. I’m excited about prepping for myself and helping others too!!

    • Bobbie. My hat is off to you girl. I think you are making fine choices. The All American canner is the best in my opinion. It is good that you are learning to use in now, instead of when ihtf. A greenhouse is wonderful. I have one and it gives me something to do to keep me busy.

  6. Our greatest challenge with food storage is rotation, we know the importance of storing shelf stable foods, but with so many options available it seems as though we are not very fond of consuming them. We are working on it, but I hope instant potatoes are still ok past their best by date….

  7. My greatest challenges are being unemployed and a caregiver to my grandmother. She needs high blood pressure medication and we can only get 1 month supply at a time. Also, food storage is a problem because of mice, but I found some plastic storage bins that help. I am stocking up a little at a time on emergency supplies when I am able.

  8. One of the most challenging things about prepping is getting my husband fully on board. I don’t think he believes that he will ever see all of the preps used, particularly the freeze-dried products. He is a little older than me and he doesn’t think he’ll be around when the SHTF, while I believe we don’t have too much longer before something collapses. (Thus, he does not even know how much we have and where it is all stashed!)

  9. My biggest challenge has been trying to find out which oils and fats have the longest shelf life and how to store them properly. Rotation of food supplies has been challenging, too.

  10. My biggest challenge is two-fold; buying enough on a budget and storage. I have been creative and resourceful, but I am running out of places to go. Also, because of kids and grandkids, we have made the decision that we can’t bug out. There is no one vehicle that would hold all of us and we are concerned that a multiple vehicle convoy could be separated. So stocking up for a bug-in situation that includes 5 adults and 3 children remains our biggest challenge.

  11. My biggest challenge is continually adding to the stockpile- how much is enough? If I have to bug out- NOT my plan- I have to leave much of it behind. . . . for looters, scavengers, etc?

  12. My biggest challenge is space and organization. I do a lot of canning of home grown fruits and veggies and only have the space for so many. So what you will see around my home are cans and jars here and cans and jars there … I am trying to get better at keeping it all together.

    • Mike I can so relate with you. I can a lot too and yes… I have it stored all over the house. Do you find it as annoying as I do the new trays they sell jars in nowadays? The old boxes are great for storing jars but the trays do very little.

  13. Gosh, so many issues with storage of food. The biggest is my children getting into things and messing with my OCD ! I need more bins for storage so I can manage different food items in larger quantities than individual cans

  14. Okay, TSHTF and I’m piling the family in the car to bug out. After the guns, clothes and camping gear I have little space left. What are the most critical things I should take from the pantry to help get me through? Rice? Cooking oils? Seasonings? What?

  15. Are biggest challenge would have to be money and storage space. We just found land for very cheap So hoping all this can be fixed. But need money lol. Another challenge has been getting the whole family on board. The oldest daughter is not interested at all. Then say my parents just say well if something happens we will just come to your house. lol I havn’t added them in the plan. If they showed more intressed we could change it around.

    • I also have problems keeping it organised with lack of space to keep it. I have had to start just putting it were I can find.

  16. My biggest challenge is to stop using ‘convenience’ foods and learn to cook better from scratch… THEN to add ‘prepper’ foods into the daily menu … *sigh* There are days this is overwhelming. Thank you for the opportunity. 🙂

  17. My biggest challenge, next to coming up with the money for survival-oriented purchases, has been selecting nutritious foods. So many freeze dried and MRE foods are loaded with salt and sugar. This means jerking my own meat and assembling home made MRE’s.

  18. My biggest food storage challenge has been a diabetic husband who will NOT eat vegetables!! Try to balance food items that have long shelf-lives, realistic calorie content, that are healthy and not loaded with sugar and carbs has really stretched my imagination. And do all of that on a tight budget! Fortunately, my husband has become fascinated with aquaponics and has decided that he just might eat some of that STUFF that he grows! LOL! But the best thing about it – we have both learned that we really prefer the home-made, healthy foods that the pre-processed store bought stuff. Yay!!

  19. My biggest challenge is dealing with my own personality! I am a perfectionist, so I want to have everything planned out before starting in. If I were to store a year’s worth of food, how much of each item would that be? What items, specifically, should I store? How can I make sure to rotate effectively?

  20. My biggest challange has been decoding all the information that is out there about prepping, deciding what needs to be done first and having the money to start. So far in my family I am the only one who is interested in prepping. I have two teenage boys and any extra money we have seems to go to them.

  21. Storage would have to be our #1 issue. We bought a 5 acre homestead property to raise our own food on, but until we have the 10,000 to build our house, we are living on the property in a 12×32 “cabin” with nearly 5 adults (we have 3 nearly grown teens). So we are prepping for a lot of mouths to feed, plus feed the animals that keep us fed. I have learned to can and dehydrate and am now working on saving seeds…needless to say, our small cabin has only so much space, so the preps are in big storage tubs on the enclosed porch. This is not ideal for climate control, nor can we put canned goods in these tubs…I’d never be able to lift them! I have found that putting shelves up near the ceiling along the walls is a good out of the way place, now thoseare full, and I feel that realistically we only have 2 to 3 months stored…sigh…and no where left to store it. Fyi, a little trick I’ve found for storing extra food that I need to rotate in, not pack away for long-term, is to use camping coolers. We had several that were cracked and worn out, no longer good to hold ice, but still good to keep out animals. These are what I stick my extra bags of sugar, flour, beans, etc, that I purchased for restocking my pantry, and I keep my longer term, sealed in plastic foods in storage bins. I’d like to store in mylar, but then that brings me back to the issue of the money we need to build our house…we are always saving and pinching pennies. so maybe the #2 issue would be money. 🙂

  22. My biggest challenge at present is that we are in transition from CA to AZ and we have a shortage of room where we are here in AZ so many of our food preps are in storage in CA. We plan to change that in April but then we will be faced with the challenge of where to store them here. Thanks for all you bring to us every day.

  23. My biggest challenge is setting up a garden. I am disabled, can’t stoop or lean over for very long, and I don’t have money to pay someone to do the work. I’m looking at some of the goodies available at Gardener’s Supply, but again, the money issue. Sounds like you had a good time, Gaye! Thanks for sharing your experience!

    • Just an idea, you might look into finding someone at your church or in your neighborhood that will help with a garden for a share in the vegetables. And remember, you can do container gardening in anything, it can be old with holes, as long as it will hold enough dirt and you are careful with watering and fertize….you can raise a few things. I have found a few metal containers at garage sales.

  24. I’ve really enjoyed my subscription to your blog, and have found lots of great websites and sources. Thank you!

  25. I, like others, am old enough to remember history and do not want to repeat it and with that being said, being able to care for the compost pile, the garden, school (student), and having a limited income, I find it difficult to put together all of the resources that I need. I have a foodsaver but it won’t seal the mylar bags and I just cleaned out the second linen closet for more storage. I may be soon transitioning to No. California to care for my mother and am trying to figure out what to take and what to leave.
    Thank you for all you do to assist those of us with our heads on straight.

  26. ONE of my challenges has been storing the stuff where it is cool–in Hawaii and in the Deep South. –Impossible! No basements in the South, where the water table is only 6-12 inches below the surface. In Hawaii most homes are elevated, for air circulation and to help prevent termites from eating your house! No AC in Hawaii, either; just open windows and trade winds 🙂

  27. My biggest challenge is immediate family, without complete buy in it is very difficult to make the lifestyle changes necessary to deal with whatever may come.

  28. My biggest challenge is bugging out with food, if it ever became dangerous to shelter in place. I have a large shopping bag on wheels that holds 8 quarts of beans/grains. I also have a series of 5 gallon buckets that I have packed so that each one holds a month of food for one person. The best I could do would be to load the car with these preps. But if I have to leave on foot, I will take the shopping bag on wheels. In my other hand will be a cat carrier on wheels. So my next idea is cacheing. I must find a way to protect food well enough to bury it. So far I’ve prepped three months of catfood for 2 cats, but it is too heavy to carry. Thank God I don’t live in the city and hopefully stand a chance of sheltering in place.

  29. My challenge is our children. We have 3 children, 4,2.5, and 3 weeks, my biggest challenge is storing foods that they will eat. The baby is relatively easy in the short term but our middle child is especially picky.

  30. my biggest problem is that I am unemployed, and have been for the past six months. So momoney is very very tight. Every time I go to the store, I try to buy a few extra supplies. to put into storage

  31. OUR biggest challenge is keeping MICE out of what we have already stored, even in big totes, we’ve found that Mice have gotten in, smaller containers, with plastic lids have been gnawed on as well!

  32. Hi, Thanks for your wonderful tips! My biggest challenge is prepping with my non-compliant 94-yr-old dad around. I live with him, caring for him and he’s completely not buying into any need to prepare. In fact, he promotes non-prep.
    I cleverly “hide” food, water, equipment and have an off-site storage unit which helps. Defensive equipment, I REALLY have to conceal. I’d so much love to have someone at least in the area (Des Moines IA) to talk with, compare notes and ideas, etc.

  33. My biggest challenge is where to store stuff. I just don’t have enough storage space for anything in the house, except possibly for the garage which has extremes of heat so I’m reluctant to store stuff out there.

  34. My biggest challenge about storing for a ” disaster” is dampness. I live in S.E Alaska, in a densely forested area. Our loft is the only place we have room to store foods, etc I’m worried about dampness and mold. After all we live in rainforest, and it’s just natural, but I don’t want to have our stores ruined by it. We’ve thought about more insulation and a ceiling fan to keep the air moving. If anyone has the same sort of dilema, and has any suggestions, I would appreciate a note somewhere on Gaye’s site ” Backdoor Survival.

  35. You certainly have your hands full taking care of your dad. Old men are often very hardheaded. Just don’t call your “hobby” prepping. People just have all sorts of ideas about what that word means. Remind him that you only want to be able to care for him properly if something happens. And the truth is, if something happens, you are the one who will be responsible for his care.It seems like people understand preparing for weather or such, but if you say anything about our government or the state of the world, we become survivalist that want to get guns and fight the government forces that are breaking into our homes. lol So just mumble about the storms that could be coming…..just do what you want, try not to do it in front of him. Heck, I prepped for about 8 months, with everything in our guest room before my husband discovered my “hobby”…..even then I didn’t use the word “prepper” for months. At first I would say things about working on hurricane supplies.He is now helping me with building shelves for food storage, cleaning the attic so there is a whole area to store camping stuff, he looks for sales on food, but he doesn’t ever use the word “prep”
    And I wish I lived closer to you…….but I am on the Gulf coast.
    Note-please try and stockpile you and your dad’s medicines. If you are careful and without using the bad word, “prep” to your doctor, sometimes they will writ extra prescriptions. They will not be covered by insurance, so you will pay out of pocket.

  36. We were doing well with prepping until I wound up on permanent disability. Now we are struggling just with day-to-day expenses. Prep supplies will need to be made on the cheap now.

  37. My biggest problem is insuring that my stockpiles are sufficiently climate controlled. It gets hot as blazes here in the south.

  38. Anyone remember Jimmy Carter? 22% prime interest rate. Gasoline shortages. Can only buy fuel on odd or even days. I thought the crap was close to hitting back then. I sold my cherry 64 Corvette and bought a years supply of dehydrated food for my wife and 4 children. Crap didn’t hit. I still have it. Shelf life 25 years. Its been 32 years. My biggest problem is wheater to count on it being any good, or trying to replace it.

    • would be interested in your 32 year old food myself. Why not open a few cans and having a meal or two….then let us know.

    • OK Olivia, this is for you. Really for me. The food is stored under my staircase going to the basement. I guess I was wrong on the 32 years, I have been in this house 36 years, and I put it there when I built the house. The dehydrated food is Sam Andy brand, selling point, nitrogen packed. I tried feeding it to my family when we purchased it. Some of it sucked big time. Potato powder, no way. A big diferance in powderd milk and instant powdered milk. Instant is the way to go.On top of the stack was potato slices. I opened the can and was surprized. Color of the potatoes was good. I tried one dehydrated slice, and it was ok. Smelled OK. Directions said to rehydrate one part food, two parts water. Simmer for 10 to 15 min. I gave it the full 15 min. Tried a bite, not bad. I put some bacon greese and onion in a skillet with the potatoes and fried. I am sure happy. Taste great. I dont know about the nutritional value, but I will eat it

  39. Our biggest challenge(s) have been two-fold: Dealing with severe food allergies that make cross-contamination between food types a significant problem; and planning for the inevitable kids+grandchildren that will show up that haven’t done any planning, and don’t have any food allergies.

  40. My biggest problem, like most I guess, is storage space. All of my closets except the smallest one have windows or skylights so I’m worried about keeping the supplies cool during the summer. To help keep the heat out of the two closets with windows I used some of that inch and a half foam used to insulate homes but since they are outside walls the temp still gets hotter than the rest of the house when the closet doors are shut. I’m wondering, can the temp scale used for MRE’s be used with canned food?

  41. The biggest challenge in food storage is space. We have plans to build a closed storage space that the dogs could not get into and destroy our containers.

  42. My greatest challenge in prepping is twofold, I think. Maybe it is all the same after all – the depth of prepping needs/requirements. Water, food, security, protection, health maintenance and health improvement. Planning for self, previous generation, next generation, pets. Enhancing gardening, preserving, good drying, canning, freezing skills. How much more health care information will I need, and what stuff do I need to get? Where do I get it from and how do I store it? How to I get a weapon, what kind and where? Then there is the ammunition issue. Another level of that particular discussion: hoping I don’t ever need to use it. And there are other skills: sewing (intact skill), other fiber arts (could use tweaking). Cooking (don’t like it much, and using stored foods adds another level of complication). electronics/electric skills? metalwork? animal husbandry? butchery & meat-food preparation? hunting/fishing? communication? security? homebuilding & heating? power/electricity? re-learning what previous generations knew and lived every day. ah, I didn’t mention religion/faith/spirituality. That’s got to be solidly there or why bother? There are probably many more skills I have yet to imagine or list.

    As if this wasn’t overwhelming enough: how does one find the time, energy and money to do these things? and to feel that time and energy and money are running out – YIKES!

    now THAT’s a challenge!

  43. My biggest food challenge is how do I pick which thickness of mylar bag and what size oxengen obsorber to use when buying quanity and repacking.How do I store unused ob’s?

  44. My biggest challenge is a small house and finding a place to hide my food storage in a not so safe neighborhood. I conceal by bringing in at night. I have them in closets under beds etc. Also storing enough water is a big problem.

  45. We just moved out of town to get more self sufficient. The problem is, although we have more property to be able to have a garden ect., we down sized in housing. Finding the room to store supplies is not going to be easy. We are however going to build a shop building that will have room for storage.

  46. My biggest problem is staying motivated! It’s so overwhelming to look at my to-do lists. We have some canned goods, but haven’t bought any dehydrated/freeze-dried foods. I bought a pressure cooker, but haven’t done any canning with it yet. We live in California, so you’d think I have plenty of motivation to prepare for earthquakes!

  47. My greatest food storage challenge has been to store food for our pets, (2 dogs). Bags of dog food have a limited shelf life, especially in warmer weather. It is possible to extend the storage life by packing the dog food in mylar bags and plastic buckets, using oxygen absorbers to retard spoilage, but this is a considerable expense for the amount of food I would need to store. I have been working toward a solution by stocking more of the foods that both the dogs and we can eat, such as rice, TVP, etc. I supplement the dog’s daily food with some “homemade” pet food so that they will be acclimated for if/when we need to make a change.

  48. Biggest challenge? Being awake enough to know there’s ALWAYS an unfilled prepper niche…this year it’s getting in raised beds for a more abundant garden which brinsg me to the short-term challenge–canning!

    Another challenge I didn’t expect–in my head I have to let go of others who do not prep.


  49. Hey Preppers – I cannot believe the response to this giveaway and how many of us share common issues: lack of space, a sense of not being ready, not enough time, money and energy, reluctant partners and more. There is so much I want to share with everyone about each of these topics.

    Like everyone else, I do get overwhelmed by it all. I am trying to get ready to go on a three week working vacation – but hope to write some new articles addressing these topics when I return.

    Also, even though I do not respond to each comment, I definitely read each one.

  50. My greatest food storage challenge is to acquire food for my mother. She doesn’t prep, so I want to be prepared for her, just-in-case. What makes this difficult is that my mother has a garlic allergy and these days nearly everything has garlic in it. So my challenge is to find long-term storage food that doesn’t contain any garlic, either advertised or hidden in “Natural Flavoring”. So far, it’s plain rice. I just hope the food pails I acquired, which were used to store garlic (oh the irony) are clean enough and don’t leach anything through the mylar bags into the rice.

    Thanks for all the work you put into your website. I enjoy reading what you have to say. Your articles on cast iron pans were helpful, especially for my wife, when we decided to get one.

    Keep up the good work.

  51. My greatest food storage challenge….storage (in Fl), budgeting for it, and how to I know if I really have enough.

  52. Most of my prepping issues are the same as others have mentioned. One that I haven’t seen and that I’m concerned about is water. We have a deep well (thankfully) and I’m thinking of having a hand pump installed so that we will still have a dependable water source if power is out. We have a small lot in a northern climate so I am also investigating “vertical gardening” and hydroponic gardening for fresh veggies and some fruit to can and dehydrate. It’s difficult getting my family members on board but I am plodding along as best I can. Thank goodness for all of the useful information being provided on websites and blogs such as Gaye’s or I would be at a loss!

  53. My husband and I both believe that our biggest challenge is the temperature changes and area that will hold a constant temperature within a decent range for food storage that requires no electricty. The heat of New Mexico is roughly 90-100 and the cold is down in the 10-20’s. The ground is hard clay, we are having trouble finding a solution to the food storage of fresh root veggies and fruits for long term storage. We have read up on different things, searched and still not found an ideal solution for our family. We will continue to search as that is our way…to thrive and survive.

  54. my biggest problems over the last 2 years have been getting an excess supply of my wifes meds (she is disabled), finding enough work as I am self employed (construction), solving the mice in the goods storage issues as I have seen so many on here have. managed to get about a 3 month excess on the meds. work is still sporadic. discovered that you can put alot of preps in the metal garbage cans with lids as your secondary protection. you can put 2 five gallon plastic buckets of food inside and stack your non perishables and canned goods around them. living in a rural environment gives me the space.

  55. Our biggest challenge is currently lack of storage space. We have a unique situation of living in a “bunkhouse” (storage building) and a 24ft camper. We are considering underground caches for food.

    • Would love to chat about our similar situations, our “cabin” is 12×32 and we’ve managed some unique storage ideas I could share with you. 🙂 we almost kept our 32ft travel trailer, but opted for the larger storsge building…I really am glad we did. LMK if you’d like to get in touch.

  56. My big challenge is I work out of town 4 days during the week. In a grid down situation, I have a 50 mi walk to get home, which I can do, but I have to worry about a temporary bug-in at my in-town work home, and then storage at my final bug-in destination – home! I keep a B.O.B. in my vehicle, so I can toss it on and start hiking, but this means I have to walk 12 mi to where I stay near work, then grab my extra stuff and my dog, and head back home. So I am keeping supplies stored in vehicle, in town place I rent, and my actual home. All on a fixed income. I manage – lots of staples, and I eat cheap and cook – not a fast food fanatic, so my diet is used to a lot of beans and rice and cheap meats. I need to get another backpack – mine is an old hand-me-down, so I have had to repair it and I know I can do this, even as a 50 yo woman, I started working out and running and hiking so I am in shape for whatever I have to do. I have maps so I can cross the 2 rivers I need to cross to get home at the narrowest, shallow parts – my dog even has a backpack and a life jacket, and I will use a swim board for me and tether my pack to another, and wear my flippers to help. I am probably more prepared than a lot of people half my age, yet I worry about how to continue to keep it up.My lacking things is communications and a good pack, and probably easy to pack food to lighten the load!

  57. My biggest challenge is getting my husband onboard. My oldest son is aligned with me, but my youngest isn’t interested. The next biggest challenge is financial. The third biggest challenge is space. I believe it’s critical to stock water, but where to put it is an issue in an already over crowded home. I’m in the (long, slow) process of decluttering so I can have a garage sale. Any money earned will be used to buy preps. Anything that doesn’t sell will be donated. And all space created will be used to store our preps. That’s the plan so far. So much more to do. I just hope there’s time before the SHTF.

  58. My biggest challenge is balancing nutrition. Most freeze-dried entrees are exceedingly heavy on sodium. That can be remedied by stretching them with rice or pasta or potatoes, but my next concern is eating an abundance of starchy, high glycemic impact foods. I want low fat, low sodium, low glycemic impact foods with a decent amount of protein and nutritious vegetable content.

  59. My biggest food storage issue is accumulating enough food on my budget. How do I meet my needs today, while building my resources for tomorrow. I try to be as strategically ready for staying AND bugging out, which adds an extra dimension of difficulty.

  60. My biggest storage challenge is space. Also, like someone else mentioned, storing dry pet food which has a very limited shelf life. I haven’t looked into dehydrated or freeze-dried food supplies and am currently only stocking up on regular canned goods that we usually eat.

  61. My greatest challenge is twofold: One is convincing my darling hubby that I’m not insane, the second is finding the space to store food!

  62. my greatest challenge in food storage starts with space… Overcoming that has taken creativity… I find food diversity. we eat a lot of raw vegetables and very little salt. NO aspartame or high fructose corn syrup. I need HEALTHY store-able food!!

  63. I find my biggest challenge is with all the food storage options is finding the one that fits with my families needs. The health and nutrition is very important to me. I have 2 boys under the age 13. Of course taste also plays a big role, I have done the work and found what we like and what my family will eat. No need to invest in food that is not enjoyable. This is an investment in our future. Now finding room to store it properly, after all I want to protect my investment to give my food the longest life possible. We are getting planning to get a root cellar ready to store in with more steady temp. year round. A challenge there is money and time to do all this. A preppers work is never done!!

  64. My biggest challenge is getting started. I can find place. Also being vegan, but willing to be vegetarian if needed in crisis I am not sure where to start. My household is so small with 2 of us that I’m afraid I wouldn’t be able to rotate things enough. Just need to get organized and FIFO tracking because we already eat rice and dried beans regularly. Plus best water saving method – bottled water?

  65. My biggest challenge is trying to eat less processed food yet store enough food for emergencies. I feel very limited in what I can purchase as so many prepper food supplies consist of pre-processed canned goods.

  66. My biggest issue is where. We live in a small home and just have very little space. We do have a crawl space and I have thought about buildin g something there. One way or another we will figure it out over the next few months cause our pantry is growing……

  67. Well budget is always an issue but my biggest challenge is storage temp. I live in a older wooden house that is not insulated vary well. So until I get that figured out I do a little at a time.

  68. Based on the many responses to the “biggest food challenge question”, it appears that several of us have similar challenges.
    Personally, I have one challenge that no one wants to talk about.
    I love to eat my canned goods!! You know the bread and butter pickles, date chutney, tomatoes…oh its hard to stay away from those delicious, ready to eat delights! I think I can food just to keep up with my own present demand 🙂
    THERE – I SAID IT! :))

    • Same problem, we eat our “supplies” as fast as I dehydrate or can them. This really is my biggest challenge, the only thing that stays in our storage closet are bought foods.

  69. My greatest challenge is my wife. She refuses to believe that anything bad could happen, and if it did them the government will take care of us. No amount of talking will change her mind. As a result, I have to do most of my prepping in secret. She is from Japan, and likes to point out how the Japanese government took care of the people after the earthquake/tsunami disaster. She really believes that we do not have to worry. about anything.

    • Mot sure how well Japan took care of its citizens after the earthquake…but please get your wife to read up on the government response to our hurricanes, Andrew, Katrina and Sandy. I live on the Gulf coast and I can tell you people died waiting for the government to sweep in and save them. Matter of fact, lots of the people that died had the same attitude as your wife. And, even the government says you should have enough supplies to care for your family for 72 hours and that is changing or has changed to one week or two. And You, just keep prepping, better to have supplies and not need them than to wake up one day without food and water.

    • Relying on government could also be difficult if the government IS a source for a problem. Natural disasters are not the only dangers.

  70. my greatest challenge is simply space! we live in a two bedroom single-wide trailer and it’s small! no closets either!

  71. Our biggest challenge is space. We live in a park model trailer and in a trailer park. We do have one storage shed, but it’s not very big and since we live in the southwest, keeping food in there is not a good idea. It can get 120+ degrees in the shed in the summer. Food storage is easier than water storage. We have to live by the parks rules so no outside water storage allowed. We are considering a place up north with a little land. Not sure we can swing it. So, space and heat are our challenges.

  72. My biggest challenge has been to convince all our adult children the importance of it. We are sending our youngest daughter overseas for school this summer and also raiaing a grandson. We are prepared, but what are wise words for our other children who have families of their own…all but two (we have 7) are doing any prepping.

  73. Our biggest challenge is financial. Money to get the items and to set up storage for it. It seems that as soon as we get some finances set aside, an emergency comes up that requires those funds. We are thankful that we have been able to save up those funds in the first place. But we do keep studying.

  74. The greatest challenge is to store enough emergency food in a temperature/humidity consistent place. Especially in the South.You want the shelf life to last as long as possible but those of us in small, basementless houses have a some tough decisions to make

  75. My biggest challenge is my health, my lack of sight and getting everyone I love to save and prep. My granddaughter (22 yr.) is my caregiver now and I thank God for her. She does all my shopping, is getting the raised beds/containers ready to plant and is going to learn canning. She also wants us to raise chickens. Space, storage and the means to build a coop are also concerns, BUT my God will supply!

  76. My biggest challenge is finding some good tasting dehydrated food to have in case of another local hurricane or flood. The backpack would come in handy for everything else like personal items and gear. Thanks, Ron Hatfield.

  77. My obstacles are two fold. I live in an apt complex, and my husband isn’t on board with prepping. I absorb as much information as you good people are willing to take the time and effort to provide, but I need for him to know this stuff as well. “Sneaky” prepping feels dishonest and I sometimes feel rotten for using monetary resources on something my husband feels is wasteful. Yet, in times of horror, his will to survive through the catastrophe will trump mine. I wish everyone the very best in a bad situation. I hope all of you are properly prepared.

  78. Our greatest challenge has been in the storage of fresh potato’s.. also getting our storage racks so that they are self rotating. I have found that mylar bags seal easily using just the ironing board I made a clamp that holds it together from an old paper cutter but instead of the paper sheer on it the rubberized pads that hold the paper hold the mylar in place with a good two inch overhand on the end of it. that spot is the edge that I use to seal the bag with.

  79. We will be living short term (I think!) in a camper. What do I do about prepping and water storage? Planning to use every inch of space! We might have access to a building nearby so that will help!

  80. My biggest storage challenge can be explained in one simple word……SPACE…….I don’t have any…..

  81. I biggest challenge is finding room for storage. my spouse doesnt really support my efforts so it gets increasingly difficult. This also makes it hard to spend much money on storage. she thinks that i shouldnt be spending the familys money on things we may nevet need. i think it is a good investment, considering the inflation rate on food and stores.

  82. Our age, health, and vehicle limitations totally prevent a bug out plan. We are care taking an old trailer on property, so this is where we will cope with whatever comes. There is not a lot of room to store food,but not much money to buy things either, so we are in the same situation as many of the other readers here. We are going to put in a garden, and I am planting berries, assuming for things to continue past 2013. If things get really bad, we probably won’t make it, and have talked this over, and accepted it. Life is not guaranteed anyway. Every shopping trip, we look for sale items, buy a little extra, and add to what we have. It would be good to know if there are others in this area, if you have any ideas on forming groups.

  83. Our biggest storage challenge would be heat. We live on 5 acres, raise our own food, have 2 large storage units (semi storage). BUT living in Florida, the heat makes it difficult to store food. To place a/c in the storage units would be costly….. We take in and care for animals, we prepare home cooking for the animals as well… as you can see is a huge challenge…

  84. Since my husband is starting to come on board with the idea of emergency preparedness, our greatest challenge has probably become finding space for water storage. Water is so important, including water for preparing dehydrated or freeze-dried food storage, but storing it has been difficult.

    Rotating food storage of tall stacks of six #10 cans is another challenge. The rotation shelf systems are all fairly expensive for a year’s worth of preps for an entire family. When we’ve priced them, we think of how much food we could buy with the same amount of money. Rotation shelving seems to create an issue with wasted space, too, and wouldn’t work for us without dedicating an entire room of our house. And we can fit more food in closets without these systems.

    • Something our food-storage teacher talked about was taking out and using ONE of those cans, to learn how to use the product, find recipes, etc., ordering a replacement for that one can, and keeping the rest for long-term, as you know they have very long shelf lives. If you can, try the product in a smaller size and then purchase super pails to keep long-term. 🙂

  85. My biggest challenge is the storage – space and temp issues and making sure I rotate my stored food so that I eat the oldest foods first. Storage is so cramped that I actually find it hard to get at the stored food as well so generally a good and easily accessible storage area and easy organisation of it are things that definitely need looking at. Temps wise I have no way of regulating things accurately being off grid and not having excess solar power to use on that.

  86. The biggest challenge I have is being a low income single mom and not having enough space to store the preps I already have. I live in a travel traler, so space it tight. I am slowly rearranging things to make more room, but it’s not easy to do.

  87. My biggest challenges for the coming year are to learn canning (I did not know you could can meat!), getting our largest garden ever in (if spring ever comes to this side of the country!), and learning how to prep fish for eating (the kids are going to learn too!). I am also trying to find more storage space in our house. I’ve used up all of my pantry space (small) but I know I can find more…just have to get rid of the “junk”.

  88. The biggest challenge I have is storage space. I live in a small house and I am going to clean out my spare bedroom to use as a pantry. But the amount of water and food needed seems overwhelming. Also, the number of cat food cans. My husband and I see many different kinds of emergency food rations at sporting goods stores and online but I can’t get him to buy and sample them to see whixh one he prefers. He says it would be too expensive. Maybe your taste test results will give him some encouragement.

  89. Certainly, for me, my biggest challenge is getting other family members to view prepping as a wise endeavor. I am alone in the desire to prepare for all emergencies. We live on a peninsula, so bugging out would be futile; we would be caught in the bottleneck of traffic. Therefore, we will bug in. I am prepping for everything I can think of. Just wish others felt the same. They don’t laugh at me; they just sort of ‘tolerate’ my exercises.

  90. This year for our foodstock we are going to attempt to have a self maintaining.. canning the produce grown and growing them.. we will be using the tattler resealable lids for canning and have found the excellent product called the watercone to use for our 72 hour kit. the other big chore is to make a small sustainable aquaponic garden. and raise a few fish.

  91. My biggest challenge is having no previous homesteading or self-sufficiency experience and not knowing which skills to focus on learning and where to begin. I guess u should have paid more attention to Dad during his gardening years and
    Mom during her canning years.

  92. My biggest challenge is the organization aspect, which mainly means rotating my inventory. I’m not the most organized person and I sometimes get lazy and don’t rotate our food stuffs like I should.

  93. My biggest problem is prepping for 2 different health related diets. High protein for me low fat low sodium for her. Before my hours got cut I painted the basement with drylok and got about 10 sections of shelving up. Now it’s all about watching sales, making choices and mainting pma and appropriate opsec. As the primary prepper /researcher it gets daunting at times.

  94. I too have food that’s been around for decades. I think 5 year old instant coffee might be better than no coffee. At this point I’m opting out of rotation. I’m eating the best stuff first. It’s nice to know the 36 year old potatoes are good enough to eat or barter

    55 gallon barrel cached below frost line have been know to winter home canned items well. The lids have straps and are held on very tight. They keep critters of many sizes out. Barrels can come with a food grade interior. They can also be stored in basements and garages and pouches. The places of critters, They are half the battle.

  95. Along with storage and money My biggest challenge is picky eaters. I’m talking about the ones that will literally starve to death instead of put that in their mouths. Trying to figure out what to store that they will actually eat. I mean how many ways can you make rice for someone who only eats it plain? How long before everyone gets tired of spaghetti? Oh, and my other challenge is water storage. Those big barrels are quite expensive for just one let alone more than one!

  96. my biggest food storage challenge is keeping teenagers and zombies out of my stash. the teenagers lack brains, and as we all know the zombies would starve eating teenager brains!

  97. Our biggest question is temperature. If we store food in the garage, will the temperature swings spoil the food? We are in central VA.
    My second issue is stock rotation. I have a hard time keeping organized in my daily life, much less keeping my stock pile organized by date for rotation.

  98. Biggest challenge(s) now:
    Water storage as we are in a semi- arid region with no well or nearby body of water. I have only a tiny yard and need to have a small garden along with 55 gallon barrels.

    Next I am caregiver of developmentally disabled diabetic brother….It is a little bit more challenging regarding alternatives to the usual basics of white rice and wheat. Obtaining and keeping a stockpile of his medications is tough too…I have a small RV fridge with a deep cycle battery and inverter for storing insulin. I need more insulin and more batteries.

    Lastly storage space and future moving. We will be moving from a townhouse to a more rural location eventually. The weight of the storage food is immense. We are also loaded to the gills here now.

  99. I think my biggest challenge in prepping is to keep prepping…it can get tiresome to constantly be thinking about being prepared. I have food stored and live on a farm with several kinds of animals and huge organic gardens but I have no way to flourish if there is not electricity. I have not made the investment in alternative heating/electrical. I do have fireplaces and gas stove but would be great to have solar panels!!

  100. My biggest concern is being able to have nutrient dense foods that supply all of my daily needs. I can no longer live in good health without a full compliment of good food. I am also concerned with being able to procure potable water from streams and ponds. A huge stack of bottled water will only last so long.

  101. Affordability is my biggest problem. One income and 5 members of the family makes it hard for me to get where I believe I need to be.

  102. My greatest problem is storage room. Hoping to build a room in my garage & us a window cooler to keep it cool in summer & a small heater in the winter.

  103. My greatest challenge has been where to put everything! I live in a small apartment, so I don’t have much extra space. I have really had to get creative with new storage ideas.

  104. My greatest challenge is keeping track of everything I have and when I bought it. I’m using a spreadsheet to track my purchases but beyond that I haven’t figured out the rotation system yet. Oh and also, when dating worrying that guys will think I’ve gone off the deep end if they see my “secret stash”!

  105. So far, it has been creating space. We started a small root cellar last summer but haven’t gotten it done yet. We have done it all by hand. Hopefully this summer it will be done.

  106. My greatest challenge? Getting the whole family on board and not thinking I am being dramatic. They are slowly coming around but with this North Korea situation I am on high alert and putting back like crazy and they are back to wondering if I am crazy.

  107. Prepping is always a challenge. Our current challenge is moving and the loss of a job going on 1 yr now. I was so proud of my inventory. Purchased and canned plus all the extra…..what was all stored and secure became “what can take the freeze&thaw or heat” and where to store stuff. Also the ‘use it or lose it’has broken my prepper heart. Also, will I get the chance for a garden this year?? Instead of an agrarian prepper, I am shifting into a gypsy hunter gatherer…adapt right?

  108. Our greatest food storage challenge is managing multiple special dietary needs. Between my husband, myself, and our five children we have 3 with celiacs disease that must eat gluten free, dairy allergies, shellfish allergies, pine but allergies and on and on. It’s very difficult to find items off the shelf that work for our family so I am trying to make my own items and meals for food storage.

  109. Biggest challenge right now is find room for our food storage. Just moved from a 1700 sq ft home to a 1100 sq ft condo. Ran out of space in a hurry.

  110. Food stirage for me is hardest when looking for an inexpensive pressure cooker to can most foods. We grow our own food and have had on of those years (OK, year and a half) where everything has happened that demands money for house repair, family care, on and on. The go bag is nice and not too huge for a woman. The food suplies that are dehydrated or freeze dried are too expensive for a couple that works for a non-profit and the other on disability. I hope whoever wins enjoys this sweet prize!! 🙂

  111. As a divorced mother with 3 small children our biggest challenge is time and storage space. We are adding supplies little by little each week. We are unable to Bug Out, so our plan is to Bug In, but traditional supplies require quite a bit of space so I have started to research freeze dried supplies as a better option for our family.

  112. Our biggest problem is trying to keep our very social gabby 6 year old from telling everyone what we are doing. Lol. She thinks its fun and cool but doesn’t understand why we don’t want EVERYONE to know what we have.

  113. My biggest challenge seems to be “keeping” us stocked – teen boys are always hungry and it seems that I’m constantly “re-stocking”. Second is trying to get other family members on board.

  114. My challenge is storing for others! I fully recognize the need. No one else in my family does. No one. That leaves me preparing, not only for me, but for others I love. I need the biggest bang for my buck, and SPACE. …and I do have to admit, staying focused when I’m surrounded by wagging heads, is a challenge.

  115. My greatest food storage challenge is finding a way to talk to my neighbors about prepping. I would like to work with my neighbors in prepping for an emergency but not everyone is interesting in prepping. Incase my neighbors don’t prepare for the unexpected, I don’t want to announce I have supplies and be attacked or robbed when something bad happens.

    I don’t want my neighbors to starve but on the other hand I am the one “pinching pennies” to prepare and take care of my family. Everyone has the opportunity to prepare. If someone chooses not to prepare, I don’t want them to know I have supplies. Those supplies are for my family to live off of.

  116. My greatest food storage challenge is prepping on a very tight budget. It is difficult to stock up on supplies when you live paycheck to paycheck.

  117. My biggest challenge is twofold, money and storage space. I do try to buy a few extras everytime I go to the grocery store. Currently my ‘extras’ are stored in my pantry with my regular stock of food. I have managed to get about a 45 day stock of food on hand. Water is the biggest storage problem.

  118. My challenge is now that I am stocking up on food, is to know how much of each I need and also what recipes I will use with the food I have.

  119. I am new to this whole prepping thing. My husband and I have tried to get our two daughters, ages 7 and 14 invloved and my 60 year old mother thinks we are nuts. Over the past few months we buy extra caned and dried foods at the store when we do our regular shopping, however we are now in the process of moving to a new house that has little storage on a crawl space. So I have to problems hailing hat we have and finding a place to put it when we get there. And then stock pilling more.

    • I forgot to add, we have limited water storage, just a few cases and a few jugs. We plan to have the buckets placed around the new house to collect rain water, but those can be quite costly and we have no room in our budget for it.

  120. My husband & I bit the bullet & built a root cellar with a storage room above. Here in northern WI the freezing cold is a problem for canned goods & potatoes, squash, etc. Old timers always had root cellars either under the house or under a bank. We built the bank type which keeps our items cold but not frozen – cool in the summer. No mice. Just a little worried about the humidity inside – so we have a small dehumidifier – and a gage for humidity & temps.
    This is also our tornado & nuke shelter (not the best nuke, but better than nothing). Our biggest fear – mauraders when SHTF. So bug out bags are next on our list for prepping.

  121. Biggest problem here is making room for a 55 gallon drum to store water. This house is great, but closets are small! I do have a nice water purification system, and lately I’ve been paying attention to the trees in the yard. One just thrives without me having to water at all, so if necessary, I think I could dig down far enough near that tree and find a good water source! Neighbors on both sides are prepping quietly, and I do feel more confident living just at the edge of the town in case it becomes necessary to ‘bug out.’

  122. Water has always been a problem. Not having enough room to store the recommended amount for my husband and me.

  123. Our greatest challenge is getting our adult children involved. I worry about them and the grandchildren, as most of them live too far to get “home” if needed.

  124. I have just recently found the great information on your site & one other. I am creating a notebook of selected posts. My greatest challenge will be to get my husband to see the need and then to get started. We will be moving in a few months, so will have to start slowly.

  125. My biggest challenge has been to engage other family members and get them interested in prepping. I feel I have had good success in this area, as my middle daughter is expanding her pantry and my youngest daughter has begun working on long term food storage and food rotation. The biggest obstacle I face with both is that water storage is not high on their list and I feel this is very important. My middle daughter has access to 2 private wells on their property, so perhaps this is sufficient. For my youngest, I will just up my water storage and get her a water bob for the bathtub. But I am glad that they are both open to prepping and started on the right path.

  126. My biggest challenge I is being on a fixed budget from being a disabled stroke survivor. I can what is extra from the garden and hope I have some freeze dried left over.

  127. Biggest challenge is to not let myself be overwhelmed by the enormity of the job. I keep thinking of more supplies that I hadn’t thought of. Of course space is a problem. I have storage in outbuildings, but then there is no climate control.

  128. My biggest challenge is getting my brothers and sister on board. Not only could we buy in groups or bulk, but it would ease my budget, because I know when the SHTF to my house they will be coming.

  129. My biggest challenge is space. We share a house and storage is limited. The garage is already filled with shop equipment. So working where to keep our preps dark and cool is a challenge. Thanks for your insightful and interesting articles.

  130. My biggest challenge is our location and storage space. We live in LA, I am terrified living here. Trying to figure out where to move to. I have to work and my 87 year old mother lives with me, who would rather die than move. With such limited storage space it is difficult to keep everything rotated. Bugging out is not an option, and living in a highly populated area where few people prep seems hopeless.

  131. There are so many food storage and preparation methods, many have been used for thousands of years. Learning how and practicing some of these are fun and can be intimidating. In the early 80’s my wife and I bought my parents house when they moved. in the process I my mother, grandmother and I cleaned out the canning pantry. it was 4′ deep, 6′ wide and 6 foot tall with shelves just tall enough to fit quart canning jars. in the process of moving the full jars we found (in the back) canned foods that had been forgotten about. my grandmother had so much experience with canning that she could just look at the dates and based on the food canned know if it should be safe or not. the meats that had been canned some 20 years earlier were discarded, some having turned color. we then found several jars of peaches from 1962. My grandmother popped the seal on one of the jars, smelled the contents and starting eating. I was sure she was going to get sick, and even though I was and still am an adventurous eater, there is no way I was going to try them. (I DO NOT ADVOCATE THIS IN ANY WAY, NOR DO I BELIEVE THIS IS SAFE). My grandparents lived through the depression and nothing went to waste. my point of this story is we need to practice any skill we believe we will need if and or when something happens that will cause us to need our skills. When young we canned what we grew and grew what we canned. hardly a day went by that we did not open something we canned. even though I do not have the knowledge that my mother or grandmother had in canning, it gives me a great deal of confidence in knowing that, if needed, I could preserve what I grow safely for a couple of years or at least until the next harvest. Bill B

  132. My biggest challenge is storage, I don’t have any room in the house and I don’t want to keep it in the garage!

  133. This is the first giveaway I have entered on your site. My biggest problem besides money is that everyone wants to be prepared, but no one is willing to help do so. So I do it myself. The task goes slow, as I am in a wheelchair, but it does get done.

  134. I find myself “bargain challenged”. Do I purchase a great bargain and worry about where or how it will be stored; or pass on it until there is an open storage space? Will I be back in this store in the near future, or is this a one time shopping opportunity. Is it something that will be needed in the short term (from a day to a month from now), or will it take up space for months/years? There are bargains you can live with, and many more that aren’t worth the space allowance.

  135. My biggest problem is the cost of proper preparedness. I’m on a fixed income- so I do what I can, when I can…with what little money that I can spare. Every little bit helps but it’s frustratingly slow with limited funds.

  136. Food allergies that were not realized until recently have completely altered my food storage. Different family members with different health issues linked to the food we are consuming has made it especially hard to prepare. Much can only now be consumed by some. I am going to be very careful about food purchases in the future that they can be used by all.

  137. My greatest challenge is trying to take it one step at a time. Pacing myself
    in getting all the things necessary in order of greatest need without stressing. One day at a time, Jesus!

  138. My biggest problem is space. We live in a small home and unheated outside garage. Not much room left inside the home. We are in Michigan’s U.P. and the winters hear are brutle so not much can be stored in the garage The next biggest problem is money! Even if I had plenty of space we are on a limited budget so “pre-packaged” survival food can be overly expensive. Plus, we haven’t tasted any brand that doesn’t leave a “whangy” after taste. We have my 94 year old mother living with us, so the backpack would be a great help ot us.

  139. The challenge I face other than space is organization. I always seem miss the box or bag of food in the back of the cabinet. I try to rotate my supplies but I end up throwing things away. I have been reading and know I need to expand my storage area but it always ends up not getting done.

  140. My greatest food storage challenge is caching it away from where I live. It’s easy find space at home, but try hiding it in plain site with all the unforeseen possibilities of what can go wrong.

  141. My biggest challenges are lack of experience, money & time to do all I feel I want to do. It is a worry when you are retired & have mobility issues & your significant other is not on the same page when it comes to emer prepping. Still I will keep on stocking food & water, at least.

  142. I think a portable water filter should be very high on everyone’s list but I would like to see an article/how to on setting up a filter system on a well.

  143. My biggest challenge seems to be organization and money to stock up. I have been stocking up on some canned goods from family garden and also water supply. I am definitely in the learning stage for sure.

  144. Our biggest challenge is what to store for our children.They are both very picky eaters,and we worry that they are not getting all the essentials they need in their diets.

  145. Hang in there, Sally…I prepped for awhile before my husband even became aware that our guest room was filling up with supplies. He still isn’t a true prepper, but he now supports me, but refuses to call himself a prepper. But he has built shelves in a closet converting it into a food pantry, and helped me start a small raised vegetable garden. Last week we went target shooting. Each week, he becomes more involved. If extra food and water is all you can do it is a start. Now, hit the dollar stores and stock up on over the counter medicines and first aid supplies. You can learn to start a fire using several methods, and believe me, without matches, it takes awhile. You can buy extra produce at the farmers’ market and learn to can. As everyone says, just pick up one extra item each time you shop.
    As one wife to another, when the hubby sits down to watch the news and start mumbling about the state of the world and how we are all going to “hell in a hand basket”…you just quietly say, “Well, I just want us to have a little food and such put back, you never know what can go wrong, be it the government or just a bad storm.” DO NOT USE THE WORD ‘PREPPER”, it scares the daylights out of some people.

  146. My biggest challenge with food prepping is temperature control. It will be over about 90 degrees from April through the end of September or October, with July, August, and September closer to 100 degrees.

  147. Like many other people who commented my biggest challenge is budgeting in extra food for storage. The water is no problem. We drink a lot of coke around here and I just wash out the bottles and put water in them, date them and store them. My family is not on board with me in prepping for any kind of disaster or the TEOTWAWKI. To me, I feel we need to hurry and do this and it is a must do thing. I am a Christian and I believe in the rapture also and I believe it can happen at anytime. So if I am not prepping for my self then all our supplies will at least be here for someone else. I have been able to put back quit a bit of items such as rice, pasta ect but there are things I feel it is a necessity to buy such as a food saver and food grade buckets for storage but just cant seem to budget it in. Any suggestions would be wonderful.

    • Most of us just make baby steps each day with our prepping. I started going to garage sales and have been able to find books on all sorts of skills. I even found a Food Saver for only $3.00. The lady said she had used it one time and went back to using ziplock bags. I went to Amazon and bought the two sizes of vacuum sealing for jar lids that attaches to the Food Saver. I keep an eye on the want ads in the paper. Yesterday saw a brand new breadmaker for $30. Was unable to call early enough to purchase that. I got some plastic buckets from the deli department at my grocery store…the regular 5 gallon sizes and some smaller ones that I think are between 2 and 3 gals. Lowe’s has food grade buckets for less than $5.00. I know that none of us are ever happy with our amount of prepping, it is an on going process.

    • I appreciate your reply and you are right. Babysteps but it is hard to do babysteps when the world is going so crazy so fast. Most preppers have this feeling of urgency and I guess that is where I am at with this. I read a lot and actually study prepping methods and I have experimented with canning and dehydrating. I am learning a lot from folks that leave comments like you did. I can use all the help I can get and appreciate every comment people leave so I can keep on learning. Thanks.

    • yes, I am from north Louisiana and my husband is a Cajun from south Louisiana.

    • Oh yeah that reminds me. Since I am from Louisiana, we don’t have basements and I live in a flood zone close to the lake. So we cant even have a basement. Any suggestions for storm shelters?

  148. Cyndi, I’m a Redneck from Natchitoches, like you I married a South Louisiana guy. Couldn’t go home after my first Mardi Gras parade and crawfish boil. I do worry about the times when we have no utilities after hurricanes……even the inside of the house is 80-90 degrees, not good for stored foods. Would like to exchange email addresses, not sure how to do that from this site…do you know how?

  149. Gaye, thanks, you can give my address to Cindi…..maybe she and I can support each other. I am very careful of letting family and friends know about my prepping, but sound like the two of us are doing this alone..

  150. I’m just an old man that has raised 4 children My wife passed away 8 years ago and the children just don’t seem to come around anymore. I have the house that we built for a family of 6 with a full basement. I have built a small greenhouse. I have chickens, goats, and wabbits. I try to can something every week. What ever I can catch on sale. I have been canning mostly meats. I am in the process of planting my garden now, but I am loosing interest. I know that in short order, I will have to start canning what I grow. I’m tired. I need help. If Gaye allows it, if there are any old wider women out there that wants to relocate to Ky, an email would be great.

    • Standby John, I am hoping that a great lady named Karen will email you very soon.

    • Sorry John, Karen emailed me and told me she was having to take care of her mother and it is a full time job but she kept your email for future reference. I hate to see people lonely!! Good luck to you!!

    • That is sad. What is even more sad is the fact that my part time job will have me in New Orleans Monday.

  151. Gaye, have you thought of a forum or something where your readers could chat with other readers?

    • Great idea, Backdoor Survival is on fb and there is a chat option I think. John R. I pray you will get an answer soon from someone. Just be careful picking up on the net.

    • The reason I do not have a forum is that it takes time. There is a lot of backend work to the blog in addition to the writing and a forum would just add to the load. I also work at a J.O.B. so as you can imagine, things get crazy busy around here.

      I used to have an open email area not attached to posts but it was not used much so I shut it down.

      Perhaps some day . . .

  152. There are additional reasons not to run a chat forum. Many people who live a lifestyle of preparation are somewhat leery of information disclosure. Having worked for many years for an internet service provider, and also being in the field of cybersecurity and information assurance, I can assure you – pun intended 🙂 – that once you have has even a short history of login and access data it is surprisingly easy to narrow down to a specific individual. Especially if you are a TLA (Three Letter Agency) that doesn’t require warrants to request information.

    I would also be willing to say with a fair degree of certainty that virtually every “prepper”, “survivalist”, and related chat rooms and forums are well frequented by individuals whose sole job is intelligence gathering and data mining. The exceptions may be (and I stress “may”) those whose membership is contingent on personal relationships and knowledge of every member of the forum.

    • Todd – Thank you for weighing in on this topic. As the Backdoor Survival diva, I already know that I personally have exposure with the TLA. But what about readers who leave comments? How do they fare?

    • Gaye –

      I apologize in advance that this turned out to be such a long reply, but it isn’t quite black and white. When our kids have a question they usually start with: “I have a question, and tell me if you have a 30 second answer, otherwise I’ll go ask Mom.” =D

      It really depends on that user and their net footprint. Not to be too depressive, but if you are active on the internet and email it can be relatively easy to piece together a profile. Especially if they use any social networking sites. All it often takes is a single thread.

      An oversimplified example:

      Joe the Plumber posts a comment here under a pseudonym.

      He also ‘Likes’ an unrelated post on some gardening site. That gardening site carries advertisements.

      One day, Joe clicks on an ad that takes him to a shopping site. The advertising agency sets a cookie on his browser.

      He is already logged into the site. He then does his shopping and later comes back here. The comment section of this site (and every other blog/forum) stores a cookie as well (which is how it remembers your name/email).

      Remember he posted a comment here earlier, then clicked a “Like” on the gardening site?

      You have a ‘Facebook’ like icon up there. Facebook also contracts with the advertiser and so they have access to the same cookies. Now the cookies, ip addresses, emails and so on are all connected and stored in somebody’s database.

      So while Joe personally might not be identified by name, there is a web that leads back to his real identity on the shopping site, where he paid with a credit card or PayPal.

      That’s the bad news. And there is no real solution exactly other than to have alternate identities, but that only adds another layer.

      The better news is that by practicing good opsec you can definitely mitigate your footprint and blend into the noise. As horrible as it sounds, what you want to do is present a low enough profile that somebody else is noisier than you. It doesn’t matter if you are driving a V8 with no muffler if the vehicle next to you is a triple locomotive freight train. =)

      The worst thing somebody can do on the internet is try and go dark. The software and analysts that look at this stuff (and they do) look at PATTERNS to identify subjects of interest. Someone who has a web presence and then suddenly drops off the web without a corresponding obit generates a red flag. Just like a person who has no previous pattern of political posts suddenly starts posting on a radical website. The software systems and algorithms are amazingly sophisticated. Far, far more than most people realize.

      There are tools out there that can help minimize traceability (things like TOR Bundle, Firefox NoScript Extension, HTTPSEverywhere) which can help a lot, but without good opsec they’re pointless. Somebody who uses all of these tools but then goes and logs into their Facebook account with them might as well not use them. Which is where keeping personalities comes in. 🙂

    • Since we all have computers and email and facebook we can be found. Nothing is really totally private. Satalites can now listen in on coversations and it is just amazing how technology has increased in such a short period of time. The government has a computer with your name and everything about you in it. Satalites can now zone in on an area and see people even if it is with infra red. Its crazy like something out of a science fiction movie but it is true.

  153. I agree with you, Todd about the chat forum. We really don’t have any privacy anymore. Gaye was very nice to let me and another gal exchange email addresses, because we are living near each other…. I think we live close, at this point neither of us are giving our names, addresses and such. I hope we develop a friendship….then we can share personal information. The only thing I really know about her, she’s a secret prepper and lives in my state.

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