The smartest way to approach surviving a natural disaster or food supply chain disruption is to think of yourself as going camping and what you will need in order to survive. Not only for yourself, but those who are in your household.
Since we are in the early Fall 2021 (at this writing) and coming upon the colder months, you need to think of yourself as going camping during the cold. Not only will you have to consider how you will stay warm, but how you will prepare or cook your food, which will then determine the food(s) you buy. There is also the awareness of how to keep the food cold if the power goes out. We will get to that too.
Obviously, having a generator is right up there as best case scenario if the power goes out for an extended period of time.
According to the CDC (as if we can trust that government entity), if the doors of the refrigerator stay closed, food will stay safe for up to: 4 hours in a refrigerator. 48 hours in a full freezer; 24 hours in a half-full freezer.
So let's just say purchasing a generator is out of financial reach or is not available to you at this time, meaning all of the generator rentals are out.
My grandson and I both carry one in our backpack when we backpack the mountains. Let's say one person has to go for help and either takes the Jetboil or leaves the Jetboil. That means someone is left with no way to cook their food. For that reason on the trail, each person always has their own gear and always carries their own gear.
But let's just say that suddenly power goes out and you have no way to cook dinner. These little Jetboils are zippity-doo-dah fast and if you have a collection of MRE's (meals ready to eat) you typically just mix with water and BOOM you have yourself a meal. Do not underestimate the power of one of these little guys. The contraption underneath the cup fits inside the cup for easy storage in its own little bag. We Love ours!
A Coleman stove is a very popular and affordable stove if you are cooking for a family because you have two (2) burners going at the same time.
I have never owned a Coleman Stove by my sister has one that her family uses when they camp and they cook anything and everything on it.
The stove comes like a little suitcase. Some stoves are bigger than others so it just depends on your budget. And from what I've seen they are pretty easy to use.
Propane for the grill. I'm not really fond of propane tanks under the grill. I've seen way too many DUMB and downright stupid accidents with these tanks, but that does not mean you have to be. It's just not my bag. Instead, I'm a charcoal griller.
You can get your propane tanks at any big box store or home store, such as Home Depot or Lowes. Price it out and see if propane works for your budget.
These tanks work well for the 1, 2 or 3 burner stands, one of which you will see below. We do have single burner stand that we use the propane tank for when we are boiling a big pot of something, let's say corn-on-the-cob, if we want it boiled instead of grilled. It just a personal preference and an option.
You can also get a 3, 2 or 1 burner portable propane gas burner, with legs. It's pretty cool. Like I said, we have a single one that works well for a big pot of 'something'. It uses propane and there ya' go. You are ready to cook an entire meal.
I have a personal preference of cooking with cast iron and using Dutch ovens.
I like a little bit of everything so I'm happy we have this option because these burners are also great for frying a whole turkey.
Certainly cooking with propane, there are a zillion video's you can search for to use propane safely. This page is just to give you ideas on how to cook your food.
There are single burners that use butane or you can single burners that have a cord. Maybe you do have a small generator that you can plug small appliances into. You have options.
You can find these single side burners at any big box store.
I have a couple of them simply because I'm a camper and because at Thanksgiving there is always that one last minute when it would be nice to have an extra burner or two.
Just be well aware of what cooking dish you can put on it to cook or heat. I've been down the melted dish road. It's not pretty.
Charcoal for the grill. I'm a charcoal girl myself for many reasons. Not only is our master grill a smoker, but when we camp I like to cook over an open flame or I like to cook with my tripod and cast iron dutch ovens.
You can get your charcoal anywhere but the better buy will be at the bigger buy-in-bulk stores or at Home Depot or Lowes. They always have 'two-for' sales.
Cooking with cast iron Dutch ovens requires charcoal because the heat above and it before creates the 'oven'. And you can absolutely put a certain amount of charcoals on the lid of the Dutch oven that will get the temperature to 375, 400 or 425 degrees, etc., to whatever you are cooking.
When you are cooking with cast iron Dutch ovens you can literally cook for an army and you can make absolutely anything! You can even bake a cake (no kidding) because the as the name implies 'Dutch Oven' it is literally cooking in an oven.
Using the Dutch Oven with a tripod makes it easy to simmer or cook something like chili for hours, if in fact your chili takes hours to cook. My doesn't.
You can make a pot of chili, chicken soup, whatever you like. My grandson and I typically make Taco Soup of something hearty like Chicken and Rice when camping. Cooking with a Dutch Oven is like making a Dump Cake where you just dump in all your ingredients, which turns into something beautiful and delicious.
It's easy to cook with a Dutch Oven and charcoal. You lay the charcoals underneath the oven and then lay charcoals on top of the oven and it cooks the food just like an oven. There are a set number of charcoals that will create the desired temperature. I have lots of recipes, so I will post them too for you to use.
You can buy Dutch Oven cast iron anywhere, including big box stores and farm supply stores.
I find stacking my dutch ovens cooks an entire meal too, but whatever appeals to you and your budget is the way to go.
I have about five (5) different sizes of Dutch Ovens so you can stack them pretty dang high as they have little tiny legs to sit on top of each other.
You do have to keep in mind that the charcoals under are also the charcoals for over, but under for the next Dutch Oven. It's a trick to cook with so many Dutch Ovens at less temperature moving up the food chain (Dutch Oven stacking), but cooking with soups or sloshy meals like chili, taco soup and chicken and rice make it pretty easy to learn.
Keep in mind that cooking with cast iron Dutch Ovens require oven mits or you can use some of the cool cast iron tools to lift off lids.
An open flame campfire goes without saying because who doesn't know how to roast a hotdog, a smoked sausage dog, shishkabobs, marshmellows, etc., on an open flame.
You can also take the grill out of the oven and lay it on some rocks or bricks above the fire to throw your hamburgers on.
We use to take the grill out of our kitchen oven all the time and take it camping. It was always better than the one at the campground.
Oh my gosh, and whatever you do, DO NOT forget to get your coffee and think about how you will be making your coffee if there is a major power outage. If you grind your beans, you might want to figure out that scenario and get yourself a coffee pot that you can sit over a campfire or dangle from your tripod stand over the flame.
The next page will be ways to keep your foods refrigerated during a power outage. I will link above and below when it is posted.
**This web site's goal is to provide you with information that may be useful in attaining optimal health. Nothing in it is meant as a prescription or as medical advice. You should check with your physician before implementing any changes in your exercise or lifestyle habits, especially if you have physical problems or are taking medications of any kind.