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Nickelless
Administrator


USA
5580 Posts

Posted - 12/14/2008 :  00:41:48  Show Profile Send Nickelless a Private Message
At the risk of being redundant (you can say that again), here's a thread I started on food dehydration:
You must be logged in to see this link.

These videos may be very basic, but some people here might be new at storing food:
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Tips from LDS Church members (I'm not a Mormon, I'm just passing along their food advice):
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Here are links I grabbed from the GIM board:

GOOD SOURCES FOR BULK STORAGE FOODS:
You must be logged in to see this link. (I bought from them a couple years ago and was very happy)
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MYLAR BAGS
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You must be logged in to see this link. (I've been extremely happy with these bags)
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OXYGEN ABSORBERS
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HOW-TO TIPS:
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OTHER MISC. SUPPLIES:
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You must be logged in to see this link. (buckets and drums for water and food storage)
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NON-HYBRID SEEDS:
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FOR DIABETICS:
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AND IF YOU CAN'T CONVINCE YOUR FAMILY TO STORE FOOD:
You must be logged in to see this link. (These seminars are by a member of the LDS Church, and like I said, I'm not a Mormon, but they have very good advice on food storage)



Visit my new preparedness site: Preparedness.cc/SurvivalPrep.net
--Latest article: Stocking up on spices to keep food preps lively

---------------

Be prepared...and prepared to help: http://www.survivalblog.com/charity.html

Are you ready spiritually for hard times? http://www.jesusfreak.com/rapture.asp

Edited by - Nickelless on 12/14/2008 04:56:48

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USA
Mountain View


Nickelless
Administrator



USA
5580 Posts

Posted - 02/08/2009 :  06:08:27  Show Profile Send Nickelless a Private Message
I haven't had much time to peruse this site yet, but it looks interesting:

You must be logged in to see this link.



Visit my new preparedness site: Preparedness.cc/SurvivalPrep.net
--Latest article: Stocking up on spices to keep food preps lively

---------------

Be prepared...and prepared to help: http://www.survivalblog.com/charity.html

Are you ready spiritually for hard times? http://www.jesusfreak.com/rapture.asp
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Lemon Thrower
1000+ Penny Miser Member



USA
1588 Posts

Posted - 02/08/2009 :  08:11:21  Show Profile Send Lemon Thrower a Private Message
thanks for posting these.

what is the advantage of dehydrated versus canned? for example, peas. you can get these in a can. why go to the trouble of dehydrating?

also, mylar bags, o2, and food grade pails add up. and 5 gallons of rice probably weighs 75lbs. how does the preservation quality of this method compare to vacuum sealing a half gallon jar? those seem far more convenient in size, are very reusable, lids seal tight and can be reused easliy, you can see the contents, etc.

Buying:
Peace/Morgan G+ at $15.00
copper cents at 1.3X
wheat pennies at 3X


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Nickelless
Administrator



USA
5580 Posts

Posted - 02/08/2009 :  13:23:57  Show Profile Send Nickelless a Private Message
If you take out the water, your space savings is incredible. For example, awhile back I dehydrated 8 29-oz. cans of diced tomatoes and ended up with dried product that fit into a 1-quart mason jar. You're cutting your storage area needs drastically. I only dehydrate things that I can't get dry in the first place. Since beans, peas, etc., are already available in dry form, I don't buy anything canned if it's already available dry.

The preservation quality in mylar bags with O2 absorbers is great--take out the oxygen and you greatly extend the storage life. I'm not using food-grade pails per se, just vacuum-sealing 5-gallon mylar bags of rice, beans, etc., and putting those inside a general-purpose 5-gallon bucket. The food is sealed inside the bag, so the fact that the bucket itself isn't food-quality isn't an issue.

As far as the weight of a 5-gallon bucket of rice, etc....why are you worried about how heavy it is unless you're going to be carrying it around everywhere?? I bought more than 300 lbs. of food for storage last week, but I'm not carrying it around with me, it's sitting in my pantry waiting to be rotated first-in, first-out to be eaten.

Mylar bags are by far your best option for bulk items such as grains, beans, etc. I'm only using mason jars for dehydrated items such as vegetables, spices, etc. As far as "seeing the contents" just label your mylar bags so you'll know what's inside. You want to maximize your food volume, minimize your space demands and costs, which is why mylar bags make sense. Just haul one 5-gallon bucket at a time out of your storage as needed...no need to move your entire food stash into the kitchen for every meal.



Visit my new preparedness site: Preparedness.cc/SurvivalPrep.net
--Latest article: Stocking up on spices to keep food preps lively

---------------

Be prepared...and prepared to help: http://www.survivalblog.com/charity.html

Are you ready spiritually for hard times? http://www.jesusfreak.com/rapture.asp
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Lemon Thrower
1000+ Penny Miser Member



USA
1588 Posts

Posted - 02/08/2009 :  19:05:36  Show Profile Send Lemon Thrower a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Nickelless

If you take out the water, your space savings is incredible. For example, awhile back I dehydrated 8 29-oz. cans of diced tomatoes and ended up with dried product that fit into a 1-quart mason jar. You're cutting your storage area needs drastically. I only dehydrate things that I can't get dry in the first place. Since beans, peas, etc., are already available in dry form, I don't buy anything canned if it's already available dry.

The preservation quality in mylar bags with O2 absorbers is great--take out the oxygen and you greatly extend the storage life. I'm not using food-grade pails per se, just vacuum-sealing 5-gallon mylar bags of rice, beans, etc., and putting those inside a general-purpose 5-gallon bucket. The food is sealed inside the bag, so the fact that the bucket itself isn't food-quality isn't an issue.

As far as the weight of a 5-gallon bucket of rice, etc....why are you worried about how heavy it is unless you're going to be carrying it around everywhere?? I bought more than 300 lbs. of food for storage last week, but I'm not carrying it around with me, it's sitting in my pantry waiting to be rotated first-in, first-out to be eaten.

Mylar bags are by far your best option for bulk items such as grains, beans, etc. I'm only using mason jars for dehydrated items such as vegetables, spices, etc. As far as "seeing the contents" just label your mylar bags so you'll know what's inside. You want to maximize your food volume, minimize your space demands and costs, which is why mylar bags make sense. Just haul one 5-gallon bucket at a time out of your storage as needed...no need to move your entire food stash into the kitchen for every meal.





so why is mylar better than jars? - is it because you can suck the air out better? do you vacuum the mylar bags somehow? how do you seal - do you have a $150 sealing device?

Buying:
Peace/Morgan G+ at $15.00
copper cents at 1.3X
wheat pennies at 3X


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Nickelless
Administrator



USA
5580 Posts

Posted - 02/09/2009 :  00:38:38  Show Profile Send Nickelless a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Lemon Thrower

quote:
Originally posted by Nickelless

If you take out the water, your space savings is incredible. For example, awhile back I dehydrated 8 29-oz. cans of diced tomatoes and ended up with dried product that fit into a 1-quart mason jar. You're cutting your storage area needs drastically. I only dehydrate things that I can't get dry in the first place. Since beans, peas, etc., are already available in dry form, I don't buy anything canned if it's already available dry.

The preservation quality in mylar bags with O2 absorbers is great--take out the oxygen and you greatly extend the storage life. I'm not using food-grade pails per se, just vacuum-sealing 5-gallon mylar bags of rice, beans, etc., and putting those inside a general-purpose 5-gallon bucket. The food is sealed inside the bag, so the fact that the bucket itself isn't food-quality isn't an issue.

As far as the weight of a 5-gallon bucket of rice, etc....why are you worried about how heavy it is unless you're going to be carrying it around everywhere?? I bought more than 300 lbs. of food for storage last week, but I'm not carrying it around with me, it's sitting in my pantry waiting to be rotated first-in, first-out to be eaten.

Mylar bags are by far your best option for bulk items such as grains, beans, etc. I'm only using mason jars for dehydrated items such as vegetables, spices, etc. As far as "seeing the contents" just label your mylar bags so you'll know what's inside. You want to maximize your food volume, minimize your space demands and costs, which is why mylar bags make sense. Just haul one 5-gallon bucket at a time out of your storage as needed...no need to move your entire food stash into the kitchen for every meal.





so why is mylar better than jars? - is it because you can suck the air out better? do you vacuum the mylar bags somehow? how do you seal - do you have a $150 sealing device?


I've been using a friend's vacuum sealer but plan on getting my own this week. Price shouldn't be your main consideration--what matters is how well it works, and if it works well, it will pay for itself. You don't need an "expensive" vacuum sealer, however you define expensive, but one that works well. I'm going to be ordering one from sorbentsystems.com, probably this model:

You must be logged in to see this link.

Here's a link on GIM that suggests using oxygen absorbers after vacuum-sealing:

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As far as why to use mylar bags instead of mason jars, it doesn't make sense to vacuum-seal only quart-size quantities of stuff like rice that you would buy in 50-lb. bags. The 6-gallon mylar bags from Sorbent Systems will hold 50 lbs. of rice and probably similar quantities of beans, other grains, etc. Otherwise, you're paying about $30 for mason jars to hold rice that could be stored in a $1.50 mylar bag--seems like a no-brainer. Here's the link for the bags:

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You want to use the large mylar bags for your bulk foods such as rice, beans and other grains that are, well, the bulk of your diet. Use smaller mylar bags and/or mason jars (with oxygen absorbers for both) for the foods which are of smaller quantities than your bulk grains and beans--dehydrated fruits and vegetables, dried meats, etc.



Visit my new preparedness site: Preparedness.cc/SurvivalPrep.net
--Latest article: Stocking up on spices to keep food preps lively

---------------

Be prepared...and prepared to help: http://www.survivalblog.com/charity.html

Are you ready spiritually for hard times? http://www.jesusfreak.com/rapture.asp

Edited by - Nickelless on 02/09/2009 00:39:32
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Lemon Thrower
1000+ Penny Miser Member



USA
1588 Posts

Posted - 02/09/2009 :  05:03:50  Show Profile Send Lemon Thrower a Private Message
thanks.

how do you seal the mylar bags? several sites sell a small burner tool that costs $150 just to close up the bags.

Buying:
Peace/Morgan G+ at $15.00
copper cents at 1.3X
wheat pennies at 3X


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Nickelless
Administrator



USA
5580 Posts

Posted - 02/09/2009 :  12:39:04  Show Profile Send Nickelless a Private Message
My buddy who's letting me use his vacuum sealer has a heat sealer, but in lieu of any other method, I don't see why duct tape wouldn't work--seriously. It should hold the seal in place once the flap is folded over. I'll talk to Sorbent Systems in the next couple days and get more details from them.


Visit my new preparedness site: Preparedness.cc/SurvivalPrep.net
--Latest article: Stocking up on spices to keep food preps lively

---------------

Be prepared...and prepared to help: http://www.survivalblog.com/charity.html

Are you ready spiritually for hard times? http://www.jesusfreak.com/rapture.asp
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Alpacafarmer
Penny Pincher Member



130 Posts

Posted - 02/23/2009 :  11:58:38  Show Profile Send Alpacafarmer a Private Message
You can use an iron to seal the bags.
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phillips24
Penny Pincher Member



USA
142 Posts

Posted - 05/08/2009 :  21:10:35  Show Profile Send phillips24 a Private Message
You must be logged in to see this link. I know I just linked this on another thread but they have great info. Granted I am not a Mormon they have done all the research, studies, and put this into practice in their lives.
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Nickelless
Administrator



USA
5580 Posts

Posted - 05/20/2009 :  00:37:40  Show Profile Send Nickelless a Private Message
Here's a link I just found on how to vacuum seal Mylar bags using a FoodSaver:

You must be logged in to see this link.


Visit my new preparedness site: Preparedness.cc/SurvivalPrep.net
--Latest article: Stocking up on spices to keep food preps lively

---------------

Be prepared...and prepared to help: http://www.survivalblog.com/charity.html

Are you ready spiritually for hard times? http://www.jesusfreak.com/rapture.asp
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Nickelless
Administrator



USA
5580 Posts

Posted - 06/16/2009 :  02:41:04  Show Profile Send Nickelless a Private Message
Here are a couple books I just saw recommended on SurvivalBlog:

Preserving Food without Freezing or Canning: Traditional Techniques Using Salt, Oil, Sugar, Alcohol, Vinegar, Drying, Cold Storage, and Lactic Fermentation
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Putting Food By
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Visit my new preparedness site: Preparedness.cc/SurvivalPrep.net
--Latest article: Stocking up on spices to keep food preps lively

---------------

Be prepared...and prepared to help: http://www.survivalblog.com/charity.html

Are you ready spiritually for hard times? http://www.jesusfreak.com/rapture.asp
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Nickelless
Administrator



USA
5580 Posts

Posted - 06/27/2009 :  20:53:32  Show Profile Send Nickelless a Private Message
More links:

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You must be logged in to see this link.
You must be logged in to see this link.
You must be logged in to see this link.
You must be logged in to see this link.
You must be logged in to see this link.
You must be logged in to see this link.



Visit my new preparedness site: Preparedness.cc/SurvivalPrep.net
--Latest article: Stocking up on spices to keep food preps lively

---------------

Be prepared...and prepared to help: http://www.survivalblog.com/charity.html

Are you ready spiritually for hard times? http://www.jesusfreak.com/rapture.asp
Go to Top of Page

Nickelless
Administrator



USA
5580 Posts

Posted - 06/28/2009 :  04:45:52  Show Profile Send Nickelless a Private Message
I just found this link on drying or dehydrating vegetables:

You must be logged in to see this link.


Visit my new preparedness site: Preparedness.cc/SurvivalPrep.net
--Latest article: Stocking up on spices to keep food preps lively

---------------

Be prepared...and prepared to help: http://www.survivalblog.com/charity.html

Are you ready spiritually for hard times? http://www.jesusfreak.com/rapture.asp
Go to Top of Page

jonflyfish
Penny Hoarding Member



USA
693 Posts

Posted - 08/14/2009 :  21:56:28  Show Profile  Send jonflyfish a Yahoo! Message Send jonflyfish a Private Message
Want to take a moment to thank everyone here especially Nickelless. Have been preparing short and long term food storage for some time and most recently spent all of today on long term food storage after returning from the LDS storehouse with a big pallet of food loaded into my truck. I called in my order in advance and so when I arrived the order was shrink wrapped and ready to go. The price was unbelievably low and the quality and service is great. This forum has been invaluable in educating me and pointing me to resources for sources of food, 72 hr emergency preparedness plans, mylar bags, solar ovens, food dehydrators, wheat mills, water storage etc etc etc. It is beyond words to explain how grateful I am to those who contribute here because I know that my family is all safely "gathered in" and prepared. THANK YOU!!!

The first panacea for a mismanaged nation is inflation of the currency; second is war. Both bring a temporary (and false) prosperity; both bring a permanent ruin. But both are the refuge of political and economic opportunities.
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Nickelless
Administrator



USA
5580 Posts

Posted - 08/14/2009 :  22:46:00  Show Profile Send Nickelless a Private Message
Just curious, Jonflyfish, do LDS storehouses sell to non-LDS members? I'd be curious to compare their products to what I've been making.


Visit my new preparedness site: Preparedness.cc/SurvivalPrep.net
--Latest article: Stocking up on spices to keep food preps lively

---------------

Be prepared...and prepared to help: http://www.survivalblog.com/charity.html

Are you ready spiritually for hard times? http://www.jesusfreak.com/rapture.asp
Go to Top of Page

jonflyfish
Penny Hoarding Member



USA
693 Posts

Posted - 08/17/2009 :  20:25:19  Show Profile  Send jonflyfish a Yahoo! Message Send jonflyfish a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Nickelless

Just curious, Jonflyfish, do LDS storehouses sell to non-LDS members? I'd be curious to compare their products to what I've been making.



Nickelless- There are 2 sides of the operation run by the LDS program. There is a Bishop's storehouse which is a welfare system that operates within the church for its needy members. That store has common household items and canned goods etc just like a local market.

There is also a "Family Home Storage" operation that is commonly housed at the same location which is open to the general public for bulk purchases. They also have on-site canning and sealing equipment available on certain days of the week to buy, fill, and seal in 1 gallon mylar bags or #10 cans.
Due to my work schedule etc I was only able to swing by at my local facility on the bulk day. I called the order in and when I arrived for pickup it was already shrink wrapped and waiting on a pallet, ready to load into my truck. This load was 250 lbs of rice, 250 lbs of hard white wheat, 250 lbs of hard red wheat, 250 lbs of sugar, 25 lbs of black beans, 25 lbs of lima beans, and 25 lbs of white beans for only $400.05 (1075 lbs dry bulk).

Current price sheet-
You must be logged in to see this link.


Beginning with stocking a pantry full of several months of short term food supply, I've been preparing for my family to have a full two year supply including all food and household needs. It is somewhat surprising just how many truck loads and multi- flatbed dolly Costco runs it takes to be fully "gathered in". Amazing how much toilet paper this prject required and the looks people give when I was wheeling it around....LOL!

A special thanks to you for the help and inspiration to do this. From what I've learned from you here, I purchased the Nesco Gardenmaster food dehydrator, Sorbent Systems VS280 vacuum sealer, channel bags, mylar bags, Global Sun Oven, 40 gallons of full propane tanks for the BBQ, prepared bug out bags for each family member (exception: 2 canines have to share a bag), etc. The more I thought about it the more the need to build such a supply became ever present in my mind. I have a high stakes job that could change at any time. Natural disasters, food shortages, civil unrest, food inflation, are all real possibilities as well.

While it has taken a lot of time and resources, being prepared might just prove to be priceless.

THANK YOU!

The first panacea for a mismanaged nation is inflation of the currency; second is war. Both bring a temporary (and false) prosperity; both bring a permanent ruin. But both are the refuge of political and economic opportunities.

Edited by - jonflyfish on 08/17/2009 20:33:56
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Nickelless
Administrator



USA
5580 Posts

Posted - 09/15/2009 :  22:42:52  Show Profile Send Nickelless a Private Message
Just saw this link: Five Different Shelf Life Studies: Two on Canned Food and Three on Dry Food:

You must be logged in to see this link.


Visit my new preparedness site: Preparedness.cc/SurvivalPrep.net
--Latest article: Stocking up on spices to keep food preps lively

---------------

Be prepared...and prepared to help: http://www.survivalblog.com/charity.html

Are you ready spiritually for hard times? http://www.jesusfreak.com/rapture.asp
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Nickelless
Administrator



USA
5580 Posts

Posted - 09/16/2009 :  23:05:27  Show Profile Send Nickelless a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by jonflyfish

Sorbent Systems VS280 vacuum sealer


Here's the link, for those of you who want to check this out. I'm ordering one next week when I also order more mylar bags:

You must be logged in to see this link.

Thanks for the info, Jonflyfish!


Visit my new preparedness site: Preparedness.cc/SurvivalPrep.net
--Latest article: Stocking up on spices to keep food preps lively

---------------

Be prepared...and prepared to help: http://www.survivalblog.com/charity.html

Are you ready spiritually for hard times? http://www.jesusfreak.com/rapture.asp
Go to Top of Page

Nickelless
Administrator



USA
5580 Posts

Posted - 09/17/2009 :  10:38:53  Show Profile Send Nickelless a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Nickelless

quote:
Originally posted by jonflyfish

Sorbent Systems VS280 vacuum sealer


Here's the link, for those of you who want to check this out. I'm ordering one next week when I also order more mylar bags:

You must be logged in to see this link.

Thanks for the info, Jonflyfish!


I jumped the gun and just placed an order for the VS280. Sorbent Systems is apparently offering a $15 discount on the VS280 with the purchase of vacuum bags worth $50 or more.


Visit my new preparedness site: Preparedness.cc/SurvivalPrep.net
--Latest article: Stocking up on spices to keep food preps lively

---------------

Be prepared...and prepared to help: http://www.survivalblog.com/charity.html

Are you ready spiritually for hard times? http://www.jesusfreak.com/rapture.asp
Go to Top of Page

Nickelless
Administrator



USA
5580 Posts

Posted - 09/27/2009 :  03:48:10  Show Profile Send Nickelless a Private Message
I've mentioned before that I think spices are a vital component of long-term food storage to keep what you eat from getting boring, so I was pleasantly surprised to come across this link someone posted on Survivalblog about dehydrating peppers:

You must be logged in to see this link.


Visit my new preparedness site: Preparedness.cc/SurvivalPrep.net
--Latest article: Stocking up on spices to keep food preps lively

---------------

Be prepared...and prepared to help: http://www.survivalblog.com/charity.html

Are you ready spiritually for hard times? http://www.jesusfreak.com/rapture.asp
Go to Top of Page

Nickelless
Administrator



USA
5580 Posts

Posted - 10/09/2009 :  04:58:05  Show Profile Send Nickelless a Private Message
I just bought this book on eBay. I'll let you guys know what I think:

You must be logged in to see this link.


Visit my new preparedness site: Preparedness.cc/SurvivalPrep.net
--Latest article: Stocking up on spices to keep food preps lively

---------------

Be prepared...and prepared to help: http://www.survivalblog.com/charity.html

Are you ready spiritually for hard times? http://www.jesusfreak.com/rapture.asp
Go to Top of Page

Nickelless
Administrator



USA
5580 Posts

Posted - 10/09/2009 :  23:19:36  Show Profile Send Nickelless a Private Message
For those of you who have space constraints, here are some ideas that might help your food storage efforts:

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quote:
It’s been almost two years now since I became serious about preparing for TEOTWAWKI. In that time I’ve followed the instructions of the Lord upon the death of my husband to “shore up and seal up my house” but there was always one haunting question. That was, where would I have enough space to store adequate food for my family that I could control the temperature.

Living in a mild climate in the heart of America, we have long hot summers that sometimes kiss the thermometer in excess of 105? making outdoor storage of any kind almost impossible. I’ve always stored extra paper products and a few canned goods in the garage but due to the heat, I knew I couldn’t successfully store food there for a long period of time. Soil in our region consists of a high content of clay so digging a root cellar is not a fruitful enterprise.

Although I have a relatively large three bedroom home, I wasn’t willing to fill closets with survival food, plus I wanted it to be hidden from eyes that didn’t have a need to know. I worried about this at length, feeling that I had been instructed by the Lord to make preparations for my family of eight.

A friend of ours who is a construction person often does odd jobs around the house for me. He is someone I trust like a brother and whom I attend church with. We were standing in my garage one day as I expressed my dismay over the food storage situation when he pointed to an alcove in the garage and said, “You have a closet right there. All you have to do is wall it off.”

I couldn’t believe I hadn’t seen it previously, but the moment he said that it became very clear this would be “the” place. Within in a few days, I had my son in the garage with a measuring tape, pencil and paper and we figured the supplies I would need to make the closet come into fruition. He went to work and I went to Home Depot to arrange for a delivery of 2 x 4s, sheet rock, insulation, electrical boxes and wiring, light fixtures and screws and the complete list to make a well constructed, insulated closet with electrical outlets and ceiling fixtures where tool laden shelves once stood.

The process of moving all of the shelving and items stored on the shelves was exhausting, but I could see the benefit of this project and knew I would either get rid of what was stored there or find another place to put it. Luckily, most of the shelving was the heavy duty steel shelving on casters that we had bought at Sam’s a couple of years before. They were easily rolled across the garage and out of the way of the construction crew, their contents in tact.

The next weekend, my son and his friend came with tools in hand and began a long day of construction on a simple closet, fifteen feet long by five feet wide. Once their equipment was brought into the garage, the door went down and stayed there during the construction process. Although my neighbors are nice people, they are not on the same political thought process I am and I didn’t think they needed to know what was happening in the garage, nor did the city inspectors!

Two by fours were affixed to the concrete garage floor with a Ramset HD 22 single shot hammer device. Once the 2 x 4s were securely fastened to the floor where they would serve as the grounding base for the wall studs, the 2 x 4s for the studs followed and were stabilized by being attached to the ceiling. Next came the exterior sheet rock wall and insulation. I did hire an electrician to do the wiring of the closet as well as additional dawn to dusk lighting around the perimeter of the house. In addition to the extra lighting in the ceiling of the closet, we added two outlets in the interior and one on the exterior wall of the storage closet so I would not lose the capacity to plug in extension cords for electrical outdoor tools. The closet door I selected was a metal exterior door already set with a lock and key arrangement.

We installed a silvery [Reflectix] insulation that was about 1/4" thick with bubbles sandwiched between the aluminum-looking [mylar] layers. We completely wrapped the walls of the storage closet with the insulation in hopes that it would solve any temperature problems. We lined the room with it as tightly as if we were hanging wall paper, stapling it to the walls with an electric, heavy duty stapler. It looked good, clean and professional. My nine year old grandson stepped into the room and asked “Wow. What is this place for.” We dubbed it the “beam me up Scotty” room and have jokingly referred to it as that ever since. I put two thermometers in the room – one at each end – and watched with dismay as the red line continued to hold at 90?. This was a problem that would only shorten the longevity of the stored food.

Once the closet was done my other son came to begin building shelves. My original plan was for wooden shelves but he wasn’t long into the project until he convinced me to buy metal shelving from Home Depot. We purchased three sets of Workforce Five Shelf Heavy Duty Steel Shelving Units that would hold up to 4,000 pounds. These free standing shelves were easily put together, very strong, and by using two units, I could make them tall enough to go from the floor to the nine foot ceiling. Each unit cost around $89 which was a little more than I had originally budgeted, but now that they are in I’m thrilled with them and very glad we went to this plan. The shelves are clean, smooth and without splinters and I don’t worry about weight loads plus the shelves are adjustable if I so desire.

My hot water tank is housed in a small closet inside the food storage room. I knew we had put the tank in almost immediately after we had moved into the house eleven years previously and it was a ten year tank. While I had not had any difficulty with the tank and found it still supplied me more than adequate hot water, I felt as though it would be prudent to have the tank replaced now, before the closet was full of food and shelving units. Also, I didn’t want to take a chance on the tank going out over a weekend or some other rushed time and I would be at the mercy of an unknown plumber to come fix it. Instead, I bought the tank and hired my construction friend to install it at his leisure, knowing full well I could trust him to be discreet about the contents of the closet.

Continuing to be concerned about the lack of control on the temperature inside the closet, my son and I climbed into the attic and put a roll of pink panther R-20 insulation in the area immediately above the food storage room and then a layer of pressed wood over that for flooring, thinking it would also work as additional insulation. Because of the layout of the roof line and the fact that the support beams for the ceiling of the garage ran crosswise instead of lengthwise, we weren’t able to get the insulation into the low lying areas under the eaves of the house. This worried me and I stuck as much of the blue polystyrene foam insulation back into the small crevices as possible.

As the weather began to get warmer, my concerns for the temperature of the closet room grew. Although my son had heavily insulated the new wall when he built it and I had a circulation fan going in the room at all times as well as the added insulation in the attic and on the exterior walls, the thermometer was showing an increasingly large red line. I knew enough about the longevity of dried food to know this was not good and I would have to take evasive action.

My next venture was to add a stand alone room air conditioner. I did my research on line and bought one from a company in Austin, Texas. It looked like a great idea but looks weren’t enough! The information said it needed to stand near a window so it could be vented out like any other air conditioner. While I didn’t have a window in the room, I figured we could cut a hole in the wall of the water heater closet, run the venting tubing through that closet and up and out the vents in the attic.

My sister and I set about making this happen. In the early morning hours, before it got hot, she crawled into the attic with tools in hand and began cutting an opening through the ceiling of the hot water tank closet and pushing a very long length of flexible insulated dryer venting through the hole and then through the new hole we had cut in the wall of the closet. Pulling fifty feet of insulation isn’t an easy task, but we worked hard at the project and got it pulled through and affixed to the wall with metal brackets so it would be stable.

We followed the instructions on the stand alone air conditioner and attached the venting system to the flexible dryer vent and rejoiced when we turned on the unit and it dropped the temperature two degrees, almost immediately. We congratulated ourselves, went into the house and cleaned up and crashed in the family room. We were both very hot and exhausted but feeling good about our accomplishment as we drifted off to a well deserved nap.

A couple of hours later we went out to check our handiwork and were frustrated to find the room hotter than it had been before we began the project with the thermostat on the air conditioner showing 93?. We checked all points on the venting system to make sure nothing had come undone. I turned off the unit and set the fan back in the room; she went home. I thought about it over the weekend and tried to figure out what we could do to solve the problem. I had spent over three hundred dollars on the stand-alone unit that was only adding to the problem. Not only could I not afford that, it was maddening to think about.

After further research I came to the conclusion that the stand alone unit really is only a supplemental unit to be used in an area that already has some air conditioning but not enough. I’m sure it would work very well in that situation, but not in ours. On Monday, I called the company in Texas and told them I was returning the unit only to be answered by a Brian who wasn’t very nice about it and informed me that not only would I have to pay for the shipping back, which I expected, but I would now have to pay for the shipping to me as well since I wasn’t buying another product from them. That turned out to be about one hundred dollars down the drain. An expensive lesson in futility.

We were able to repackage all of the venting materials we used and return them to Home Depot for a refund, accompanied by a smile. At least they were nice about it which reinforces the virtues of buying locally.

Several years before, I had added insulation to the attic of my home so I called that same company and had them come out to add more insulation, this time to the area above the storage closet in the garage as well as the original garage walls. To do so, they had to drill holes in the walls but I didn’t think that mattered - the idea was to keep the room cool enough to prolong the life of the food. It was an arduous task to remove all of the food, shelves and supporting items from the closet into another part of the garage, cover them with thick plastic to hide the contents from unwarranted eyes. Once the insulation project was done, I had to reverse the process and put everything back into the room.

Even with the added insulation, the room still wasn’t maintaining temperature below 90? on the hottest days. Although this was frustrating, I now knew I had to install a wall unit in the room. I decided the only acceptable thing I could do was to cut a hole in the new wall and put a small, one room, 120 VAC air conditioning unit in. I felt this was a gamble as well, but I now had several thousands of dollars worth of food in the closet and I didn’t want to gamble with losing it and not having food for my family.

Adding the 120 VAC unit was the smartest move of all. While they, too, are designed for windows and to be vented outside, we’ve been able to make this work. The condensation from the unit drains into a small plastic pan I placed on a shelf under the unit on the garage side of the wall. After a period of accumulation I pour that water into an empty recycled bottle, mark it “distilled” and set it aside for my iron. I’ve hung a small clip-on fan on the metal shelves, also on the garage side of the wall, next to the air conditioner. The fan blows across the unit and downward where the hot air is picked up by a larger fan and blown toward the garage door that I keep raised about two inches for circulation.

All in all, the addition of the closet is amazing. I learned a lot of hard lessons along the way but knowing what I know now, I would have started with additional insulation as the second step in the entire process. The room is maintaining a temperature of 60 to 70? now, depending on how much I run the little air conditioner, which is normally shut off at night. I’m trusting by the end of September I won’t have to run it at all.

The closet has been constructed in such a way that I can completely disguise it by rolling steel shelves that we purchased at Sam’s several years ago in front of it. Those shelves are loaded with my husbands tools, chain saws, porta potty and anything else that is necessary for a normal life. In as little as five minutes, the garage can be made to look like a normal American messy garage where nothing could be found easily. Unless someone is looking for the closet with a metal detector, it would be very difficult to find.

The addition of the food storage room has cost me approximately $500 for building materials; $375 for additional insulation; $150 for wiring; $400 for shelving; $100 for air conditioning; $100 for shipping back the stand alone air conditioner, but the peace of mind is priceless.



Visit my new preparedness site: Preparedness.cc/SurvivalPrep.net
--Latest article: Stocking up on spices to keep food preps lively

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Nickelless
Administrator



USA
5580 Posts

Posted - 10/10/2009 :  23:38:35  Show Profile Send Nickelless a Private Message
Here's a followup to the post above on the where and what of food storage areas:

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Visit my new preparedness site: Preparedness.cc/SurvivalPrep.net
--Latest article: Stocking up on spices to keep food preps lively

---------------

Be prepared...and prepared to help: http://www.survivalblog.com/charity.html

Are you ready spiritually for hard times? http://www.jesusfreak.com/rapture.asp
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Nickelless
Administrator



USA
5580 Posts

Posted - 10/12/2009 :  20:57:51  Show Profile Send Nickelless a Private Message
Here's another followup link...and you gotta love the paragraph below:

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When I have talked to others about having an emergency supply of food in place, I have received laughter and ridicule. I even had a neighbor to tell me when he needed emergency food, he would just come to my place. I jokingly informed him not to bother as I had a supply of ammunition as well.


Visit my new preparedness site: Preparedness.cc/SurvivalPrep.net
--Latest article: Stocking up on spices to keep food preps lively

---------------

Be prepared...and prepared to help: http://www.survivalblog.com/charity.html

Are you ready spiritually for hard times? http://www.jesusfreak.com/rapture.asp
Go to Top of Page

Nickelless
Administrator



USA
5580 Posts

Posted - 10/12/2009 :  22:35:14  Show Profile Send Nickelless a Private Message
Here's a book I just found:

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Visit my new preparedness site: Preparedness.cc/SurvivalPrep.net
--Latest article: Stocking up on spices to keep food preps lively

---------------

Be prepared...and prepared to help: http://www.survivalblog.com/charity.html

Are you ready spiritually for hard times? http://www.jesusfreak.com/rapture.asp
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