Prepper Diary September 26: Stocking Up For the Dark Days Ahead

Corned beef hash
A can of corned beef has is great for preppers to store. It provides about 700 calories spread across protein, carbs, and fat.

My wife and I made another Costco run.  Their shelves were well stocked so we too advantage added a bit to our prepper pantry. We avoided fresh meat completely because we are trying to empty our freezer before the move.  I’m fine buying canned goods and other items that do not need refrigeration .  We picked up the following, all of which have been packed in some heavy boxes and will go up to our prepper property on our next trip.

  • 12 cans of corned beef hash. This is one of my favorite prepper foods.  Depending on the brand, it can have 700 or so calories in a can, which is a pretty high calorie-to-weight ratio. It has carbs, protein and fat in pretty close to equal amounts, which should give you plenty of energy for any task. It’s already cooked , so you can eat it straight from the can if necessary (blech!), but it is also easy to cook over a fire in a pan or your mess kit. We like it for breakfast but nothing says you can’t have it for dinner.
  • Six cans of Steak House Reserve chili with both beef and beans. Chili is another excellent prepper food and this brand has beef as the first ingredient.  A single can has about 550 calories, mostly from carbs and protein.  There are plenty of canned chilies out there, and we like some of the chicken chilies, but these are pretty good and have tiny pieces of sliced meat rather than ground meat.  You can make a filling dinner in a single sauce pan by cooking macaroni or another small noodle.  When the noodles are done, drain the water, add the chili, stir and return to the heat until the mixture is hot all the way through. Then serve your chili mac and eat.  You can mix chili with rice, too.
  • Four jars of pasta sauce.  We store a great deal of pasta, so we need more sauce.  The pasta keeps forever, but the sauce has a shorter shelf life, so we never have all we need on hand.  I’m stocking up because we might see more shortages in the future.  As I posted yesterday, I think COVID-19 will be back, and if Biden is elected, we’ll all be locked down again.
  • A big box of cornbread mix.  I like to make both cornbread and cornbread pancakes, and mixes are good to have because all the ingredients are in one simple box.
  • Two different kinds of snack bars.  These go fast around here, so we like to keep some on hand.  They are definitely on our “last minute” list as well.
  • Sixteen pairs of socks.  Eight were just run-of-the-mill white crew socks that will replace old pairs which are getting thin.  The other eight were wool-blend socks in a range of darker colors.  My wife also got new socks, but in more colorful hues.  I’ve been buying socks at Costco for years and have always been pleased with them.  I think it is important to stock up on necessities like these before we go into a possible economic downturn.  Plus, if we do see inflation in the future, anything we buy now saves us money in the long run.

You don’t need to spend a fortune to stock your prepper pantry; just do it a little at a time. We bought 18 cans of food with best buy dates at least two years in the future. That’s almost three weeks of dinner for the two of us if all we do is add some rice or noodles from our long term storage food. The pasta sauce will contribute to at east 8 more meals. If the SHTF, we have a few more weeks we’ll have filling comfort food on hand, which is reassuring.

Refreshing an Old Bug Out Bag

The guys carpeting the basement were here for 10 hours yesterday.  Their imminent arrival was good motivation to finish cleaning out the basement, which we finally accomplished the day before. We packed up everything that remained from my youngest daughter, loaded it in the back of my truck, and drove it over to her new place.  She just moved from an apartment into a townhouse so she took some furniture we no longer needed.

This bag combines the best of tactical and civilian pack designs and includes a rain fly. it makes a good bugout bag.

One of the things she probably was not expecting to get was her bugout bag, which is several years old.  I really don’t know if it has been checked since she went off to college seven or eight years ago.

Before passing it along, I opened it up and looked at everything in it.  The AA batteries with the flashlight still worked, but the AAAs that were in a baggie with the headlamps were terribly corroded.  Strange, as they were both Duracell. I tossed the corroded ones. 

The water purification tablets had expired, but I have no doubt they will work just fine.  The candy bars and power bars were pretty old, but still edible.  The Mountain House pouch meals intended for backpackers were also old, but as long as the pouch has not been punctured they should also be fine.  There are some flavored oatmeal envelopes that have seen better days, and the ibuprofen and other pills in the first aid pouch have expired. I’m going to let her worry about that.  She’s an adult now.  If she wants a good bugout bag, she can update this one herself. The basics are in there. I told her to give me first dibs on a few items if she decides to toss the whole thing.  I’d take the headlamp and the Rite in Rain notepad and pen at the very least.

One thing I removed was two 50-round boxes of .22 ammo. She doesn’t have a .22, so I’ll hold on to those. They were PMC rounds, so you know they are old!  I don’t think PMC has sold any .22s in this century.

We’re getting closer to the move. Next step is painting the basement and power washing the garage floor. Then the real estate agent will have the photos shot and the listing will move forward.


  1. I would recommend staying far, far away from Duracell. I have found the can go full on Chernobyl in 6 months, I have switched to Energizer Industrial because they are recommended by Eotac, Liberty and Cannon safes and ATN. I agree with your other battery choices but something happened with Duracell. BTW, Capt. Rawles recommended your blog. Good luck, God’s Speed.
    H. Ward

    • Thanks, Harry. That is good advice based on my recent experience, especially with their AAAs. I’ll monitor these batteries carefully. Coincidentally, I have the Energizer industrial for most of my AAs and AAAs.

  2. I too came from Rawles and have been browsing around. Top grade information and entertainment. Keep up the great work brother.

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