Hiding food

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bluestone's picture
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Hiding food

I have followed the crash course for over two years now and have made many inroads to protect myself and my family.  While I have stored food in my home for a crisis, I continue to be concerned that this supply will be at risk of theft.  Here are some questions that keep running through my head:

When a major longstanding crisis comes, will I be able to keep my stored food concealed? I don't know.   storing food, as i've found, takes up a fair amount of space

will I be subject to theft or home invasion?  yes, a definite possibility

Can I guard and defend my home and food supply 24/7?  No, absolutely not

I clearly see the need for hiding at least a portion of my stored food.  It would be a backup plan in case my home is ransacked.  What alternative hiding places do I have?  Can I bury some food underground in 5 gallon containers?  

Any input or suggestions would be appreciated.

thanks Brian

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bluestone wrote:   Can I

bluestone wrote:

 Can I bury some food underground in 5 gallon containers?  

thanks Brian

If the containers and food were sealed and airtight I don't see why not?

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Sure you can. Also, if you

Sure you can.

Also, if you are where you need to post 24/7 vigilance, perhaps you should bail to your bugout location where you have the rest of your food stored.

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bluestone wrote: I clearly

bluestone wrote:

I clearly see the need for hiding at least a portion of my stored food.  It would be a backup plan in case my home is ransacked.  What alternative hiding places do I have?  Can I bury some food underground in 5 gallon containers?  

Bluestone

A lot depends on your climate.  That buried food would be hard to get to under a snow bank with the ground frozen solid down to three feet.  Then there is the question of your container seals surviving the expansion and contraction from temperature changes, which also can spoil your food as it freezes and thaws.  Water leakage would be an issue.  You should consider a rented storage space.  Not cheap, but might be worth it as insurance.  Supplies at a bug out location would be even more vulnerable to theft unless you were there.  And you wouldn't know they were gone until you arrived.  Having supplies in more than one location is an important issue

Travlin 

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Food Inside The Walls

Maybe you can hide some recent-dated MREs in between the interior walls of your house, then replace the drywall/plaster and paint over it. Can't say mice or insects won't get into it, though, unless you've got a metal container.

But the best idea is to bury it in a sealed metal container. Sure there may be ice and snow above, but there's usually a line below which the earth doesn't freeze and temperatures remain relatively stable year-round.

You can also cache some in a tree hollow or even hollow out part of a tree, taking care to camouflage it, and again protecting against vermin and weather.

Poet

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Tycer I still don't have a

Tycer

I still don't have a bug out location to store food.  Maybe I should work on that.

Travlin

I live in upstate NY, so snow and frozen ground are an issue.  Also, plenty of burrowing creatures in my area (chipmunks, rabbits, moles).  I wonder if they would chew their way through the containers.  I suppose looking into a rented storage space is a good alternative.  there happens to be a climate controlled storage facilitiy close to me.  I kind of figured storage facilities would be one of the first placed to get robbed, but maybe not.

thanks Brian

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hidden food storage

bluestone wrote:

I live in upstate NY, so snow and frozen ground are an issue.  Also, plenty of burrowing creatures in my area (chipmunks, rabbits, moles).  I wonder if they would chew their way through the containers.  I suppose looking into a rented storage space is a good alternative.  there happens to be a climate controlled storage facilitiy close to me.  I kind of figured storage facilities would be one of the first placed to get robbed, but maybe not.

Big manure pile generates heat.  Heat keeps ground from freezing.  Ground provides thermal stability.  Military style aluminum storage containers found in army surplus catalogs provide air/moisture/rodent tight seal.  Certainly not convenient but it can provide an emergency cache.  I'd pass on a storage facility.  Vulnerable to theft (both from outsides and from facility owners) and generally unheated with wide temperature swings due to metal structures.

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hiding food

Poet and AO

thanks again for your input.  I am starting to like the idea of burying some food in a metal container.  I have to be discreet as I live in a suburban neighborhood.  have you all done this?

Brian

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Done This? No

bluestone wrote:

Poet and AO

thanks again for your input.  I am starting to like the idea of burying some food in a metal container.  I have to be discreet as I live in a suburban neighborhood.  have you all done this?

Brian

Aside from hiding snacks from my parents when I was a kid,  no. But I've read quite a bit on-line about people who wanted to hide stuff. There's a book about hiding stuff by (I think) Loompanics. You also get a bit of an education watching Schindler's List.

Don't forget about investing a little extra your own portable auxilliary utility nutritive close-in housing (PAUNCH). You can live for DAYS off that. :-)

Poet

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I have just recently started

I have just recently started preparing based on the Crash Course (I do have a different take on preparation however).

I don't have any advice, but I do have a question.

If you are in a position where you have to depend on hidden food, because of a breakdown in society, how do you plan on replacing that food once it's gone? I imagine if it came to the point suggested, by the idea of hiding food from your neighbors, you are going to be in a world of trouble regardless of the availability of food.

If you can't trust the people around you to that degree....I don't know, that is a sad state of affairs. You might want to concern yourself with strengthening your bonds of friendship in your community as opposed to finding the answer to hiding food.

There is strength in numbers. I hope this helps a bit.

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Haaaa!  Paunch.  Took me a

Haaaa!  Paunch.  Took me a second to figure that one out, but very nice!  I have a large friend who for 15 years has claimed... "I've got the next famine covered."

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Rihter, points well taken I

Rihter, points well taken

I have gone over this scenario in my head many times.  I do know my neighbors fairly well.  I have tried many times to get them on board, but it just isn't happening.  they will only realize the importance of storing food when there is a food shortage.  So can I store enough food to support fifty of my neighbros?  No I really can't.  Will I plan to help out some of my neighbors?  yes, I will.    Will the people in my neighborhood look after each other?  I don't know for sure, but I think they may.  I am not really concerned about my neighbors breaking into my house, but people from the outside.  

Storing and or hiding food is not a long term sustainable plan, but it may keep me and my family alive a few extra days, weeks or months.  I am not trying to sound melodramatic, but when we get into crisis, just surviving to the next day may be a reasonable goal.

thanks

Brian

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Keep in mind, hiding

Keep in mind, hiding something is essentially based on a lack of security.
If you have adaquate security, hiding is unnecessary.

If you are relying on hiding things to keep them out of casual sight, fine and well.
If you are relying on hiding things to keep them away from thieves or officials, please keep in mind that these people literally hide and search for things for a living, and anything you can think of, they'll have a bead on unless it's an extremely discreet false wall, hiding space in the floor, root cellar, or something like that.

I've seen drug addicts freeze hundred dollar bills into the bottom of ice trays; when need is your ultimate monkey, you dedicate all your time to understanding where valuables are stored and how to "relieve" their owners of their burden.

Think of it as trying to hide something from a rat. 
Part of survival for them is knowing how and where things can and will be stored.

Personally, I wouldn't bother hiding much of anything. Even if you're in suburbia, start a few fruit trees, get some chickens and maybe a Garden Pool.

If you do have the latitude to have a decent root cellar, or even a basement cellar, buckets with Gamma Seal Lids will be a good way of keeping non-human scavengers out. 

In addition to that, once you've got the ability to produce your own food, start by buying some mason jars (remember to buy lots and lots of lids - they're consumable) and canning

The great thing about this is there is something subtly unappealing to most Americans about home canned goods. The jars are heavy, fragile in comparison to their aluminium counter parts and would be difficult to transport (and steal). Perhaps set up a decoy rack and put a pantry "behind" the exposed racks. 

Other than that, maybe a box or two of MRE's or Mountain house meals in the closet would be helpful, but we've got to get back to a "producer" mindset.

Cheers,

Aaron

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Hiding food

Rihter wrote:

If you can't trust the people around you to that degree....I don't know, that is a sad state of affairs. You might want to concern yourself with strengthening your bonds of friendship in your community as opposed to finding the answer to hiding food.

Rihter,

Agreed...and even though there usually is violence in the face of scarcity, here is another view(bold emphasis added):

Nobel Lecture

1

by Mother Teresa
Humanitarian/Nobel Peace Prize 1979 
 

December 11, 1979 at Oslo City Hall, Oslo, Norway

...

Some time ago in Calcutta we had great difficulty in getting sugar, and I don't know how the word got around to the children, and a little boy of four years old, Hindu boy, went home and told his parents: I will not eat sugar for three days, I will give my sugar to Mother Teresa for her children. After three days his father and mother brought him to our home. I had never met them before, and this little one could scarcely pronounce my name, but he knew exactly what he had come to do. He knew that he wanted to share his love.

...

And so here I am talking with you--I want you to find the poor here, right in your own home first. And begin love there. Be that good news to your own people. And find out about your next-door-neighbor--do you know who they are? I had the most extraordinary experience with a Hindu family who had eight children. A gentleman came to our house and said: Mother Teresa, there is a family with eight children, they had not eaten for so long--do something. So I took some rice and I went there immediately. And I saw the children--their eyes shining with hunger--I don't know if you have ever seen hunger. But I have seen it very often. And she took the rice, she divided the rice, and she went out. When she came back I asked her--where did you go, what did you do? And she gave me a very simple answer: They are hungry also. What struck me most was that she knew--and who are they, a Muslim family--and she knew. I didn't bring more rice that evening because I wanted them to enjoy the joy of sharing. But there were those children, radiating joy, sharing the joy with their mother because she had the love to give. And you see this is where love begins--at home...

If you knew what I know about the power of giving, you would not let a single meal pass without sharing it in some way. ~ Buddha Indian philosopher & religious leader (563 BC - 483 BC)

quote source: http://www.quotationspage.com/quote/30999.html

*edit to add quote and fix link

-littleone

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addendum

Littleone -

Great post! I personally am going the path of preparedness through promoting collaborative efforts in my community. Transition Town, Permaculture, localization, and other group efforts to prepare. Most are in their infant stages, but so are my personal preps.

I wonder if the common looter would even recognize a fully developed forest garden as a potential food source? Hiding in plain sight might serve your needs too.

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Aaron I am working on

Aaron

I am working on "producing mindset".  In our 1/2 acre lot I've planted 9 apple trees, 3 peach trees, 2 plum trees, 15 blueberry bushes, several black berries and a raspberry patch.  I have put together some raised beds and have done vegetable gardens the past two years.     Although it is a step in the right direction, I am still the only one in my neighborhood taking these steps.   the reality is that my attempts at sustainability are still woefully inadequate. 

I suppose storing food and sharing with close neighbors in the event of food shortages is the best thing to do.  However, I have two small children who I have to look after.  I can't see going without food storage and a hidden stash.

Brian

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Brian, It is discouraging,

Brian,

It is discouraging, but let's just hope that things advance incrimentally, as they seem to incline towards.

As things deteriorate, you'll find yourself in a good position to lead, and share your experiences. 
As a nation, our attempt at sustainability is non-existant - don't get down on yourself. You're still ahead of the flock.

Cheers, and good luck...

Aaron 

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Often overlooked,

The point most often overlooked by new preppers is allowing too many people to know your intentions, thinking it wll have no affect on you later, outside of feeling inclined to share some of your provisions with needy neighbors.  But when people start watching their children starve they will do things you never though they'd do.  Even your best friend can be capable of acts that he may not yet know he's capable of.  Neighbors who come in contact with hostile gangs will be forced at gunpoint to disclose the origin of the food you just gave them. What do you think will happen then?

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Very Sobering

kaman wrote:

The point most often overlooked by new preppers is allowing too many people to know your intentions, thinking it wll have no affect on you later, outside of feeling inclined to share some of your provisions with needy neighbors.  But when people start watching their children starve they will do things you never though they'd do.  Even your best friend can be capable of acts that he may not yet know he's capable of.  Neighbors who come in contact with hostile gangs will be forced at gunpoint to disclose the origin of the food you just gave them. What do you think will happen then?

That is very sobering to think about. If things break down a little, but there is still food to go around, that's one thing. When things break down a lot, that's an entirely different ball game.

Poet

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@Rither, i agree, aregntina

@Rither, i agree, aregntina fervals message is about not trying to escape from everybody, but to surround yourself with good people. Im a farmer and its what animals do when they fell threatened is clump in groups. By all means get out of the big citys, heck do that now, but way out in the sticks is not really the solution either i dont think.

The argentina scenario is in many ways easier to plan for, however a more significant natural or warfare disaster, requires more of everything. Personnaly i cant get my head around that, no amount of planning seems to make much difference.

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Hiding Food

Wow, this is a really thought provoking topic - do you hide food or not?

After every person I have talked to and told that we are prepping for "end of energy/oil" - they said they would have no problem getting food because they have guns. Scary - people automatically think they can take food with guns - what happens when they shoot everyone who can grow food?

It took a lot of thinking but hungrey people are not enemies - they are hungery.  99 out of 100 of them would not be a problem and could be willing to work gardens/fields and other things if they knew they could get food regularly in such a dire situation. It could be a magnet to ensure enough people join forces against marauders. So can shelter and water. As collapse happens, I think we will see a lot of vacant farm land where expanding such food production endeavors could occur if enough seeds, plants and organic fertilizers are stored.

Not to be a utopian but really, hungrey people are just want food. Give it to them in trade for working to make more food. That said, there is no way to put enough food away for a large number of people so only show you have a little to share at any given moment... . and hide the bulk of it until the supply meets the demand!

EGP

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People Who Think They Will Take May Find Themselves Staked

EndGamePlayer wrote:

Wow, this is a really thought provoking topic - do you hide food or not?

After every person I have talked to and told that we are prepping for "end of energy/oil" - they said they would have no problem getting food because they have guns. Scary - people automatically think they can take food with guns - what happens when they shoot everyone who can grow food?

I don't think most people plan on growing that much more food than they personally will need, maybe a little extra for barter. If 15 people want to work in a field, but a homesteader only planted a couple of acres, there's going to be a problem. Especially when 14 of those 15 may have no clue no experience no stamina whatsoever.

That said, many people who are going to the trouble of preparing will have some means of defending what they've worked so hard for. Those wo think think they'll just discard morality to take from other human beings by force, will likely find themselves dead and their guns and ammo added to the defender's stash..

The same goes for hunting. If everyone's out hunting for the same few animals, people will fight over the kills. People may also fight over the equipment or supplies or food the other hunters have. I personally do NOT plan on going out hunting at a time when TSHTF and every other would-be "Rambo" is out there playing "wilderness survivor".

Didn't we have this discussion somewhere else before, EGP?

Poet

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The wilderness survivor problem...

Poet wrote:

I personally do NOT plan on going out hunting at a time when TSHTF and every other would-be "Rambo" is out there playing "wilderness survivor".

I saw a pretty good thought excercise on this on youtube by ironhead41.  He took the average number of animals in a square mile, realize that some locations may vary, then figured total rough cleaned, edible meat weight.  He used a scenario with 40,000 people entering a 100 square mile forest, so roughly 400 people per square mile.  Remember that one square mile is 640 acres, so basically 1.5 acres per person.  He then took 1/2 a pound of meat per person per day and came up with 16 days... 

There is a reason that deer nearly became extinct in the US during the great depression.  The US population then was roughly 30 million compared to about 330 million now.

On the hide food or not.  I do have some in climate controlled storage.  More than one, in more than one location.  I like back ups to my back ups.  My personal view is that we will see more of a steady decline than "a day the dollar dies" scenario.  Once the cracks start to become more pronounced I will figure out how to consolidate those plans.

Yes, hungry people will do stuff that they would not normally do.  I'm less afraid of the storage units getting hit all at once, or even in the first few days at all.  Those facilities have steel fencing, controlled access and individually alarmed doors, so there is at least some protection.  I also think the more likely early targets will be warehouses and grocery stores...  If it gets to total SHTF, well there are probably even more immediate concerns, like how much lead do I have stored at home...

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Quote:The same goes for

Quote:
The same goes for hunting. If everyone's out hunting for the same few animals, people will fight over the kills. People may also fight over the equipment or supplies or food the other hunters have. I personally do NOT plan on going out hunting at a time when TSHTF and every other would-be "Rambo" is out there playing "wilderness survivor".

Poet, those guys won't last long. Not only that, but they won't have much in the way of energy by the time they realize what a poor job they're doing. I think you alluded to this, but my main fear with hunting is that you'll get shot by snipers if you're successful. Now, for the same bullet, the hunter just resupplied his meat stash, owns your gun and whatever supplies you were carrying.
Pretty strong incentive for a person of ill intent.
With the lack of woodland skill these days, I think a crafty person could do this almost indefinitely. That right there is enough to keep me from messing with subsistence hunting. It'll be pretty awful out there (IMHO).

Quote:
There is a reason that deer nearly became extinct in the US during the great depression.  The US population then was roughly 30 million compared to about 330 million now.

Chucks, brother - this entire line of thinking scares me. I just posted the other day (forgot where) about how you always hear how "there's plenty of room for humans to expand" and that people use this flawed logic without accounting for habitat and species loss that accompanies human expansion.

If we have a major collapse, I think we'll see a die-off of species that's bested only by KT-type events. We live in a world populated by 7 billion apex predators... Not to get too "Cormac McCarthy" on folks, but that's something to consider.

Cheers,

Aaron

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population correction

Chucks688 wrote:

There is a reason that deer nearly became extinct in the US during the great depression.  The US population then was roughly 30 million compared to about 330 million now.

Chucks688,

I think you're right on target with much of what you're saying but I'd offer a correction here that the US population was in the 120 million range during the Depression.  But you're right about the deer.  They disappeared from the woods where I grew up.  An old timer who lived off those woods during the Depression lived by hunting but more reliably, by trapping.  He ate everything from squirrel to rabbits to woodchucks to muskrats on down to crayfish, bullfrogs, and snapping turtles. 

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Poaching In Hard Times

Speaking of the devil...

Game Beware: It's The Return Of The Poacher (November 17, 2008)
"Police in rural areas across Britain are reporting a dramatic increase in poaching, as the rise in food prices and the reality of recession increases the temptation to deal in stolen venison, salmon, or rarer meat and fish. Organised and sometimes armed gangs of poachers are accused of behaving dangerously, intimidating residents, causing damage to crops or to gates and fences. Squads have also been out in the countryside 'lamping', poachers using lights to transfix animals."
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/this-britain/game-beware-its-the-re...

So how are things in the U.S.?

Poaching 'Out Of Control,' Game Warden Says (June 3, 2009)
"California's wildlife is even more at risk at the hands of poachers as the state faces dire budget cuts.The California Department Of Fish And Game issued 7,571 citations for illegal hunting, fishing, and poaching in 2001. The latest statistics show citations issued in 2008 increased to 14,543."
http://www.kcra.com/r/19650948/detail.html

I'm surprised we don't hear more about this...

Poet

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Agricultural Catch-22

Without our complex agricultural system, we face a drastic reality:

There isn't enough wildlife to both:
A. Maintain species population health
B. Feed the human population

Man, this conversation is making me feel grim. Hell, maybe I better just stay in Afghanistan.

Cheers,

Aaron

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Re: Poaching In Hard Times

I have to admit to poaching myself. Parlty because they are such easy prey.

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hunting

I've thought about hunting when tshtf and have concluded there is no point in preparing to do it.  I have the ability and some guns now, but I don't hunt.  In addition, I've concluded the game will disappear rapidly once there's a serious food shortage.  I think thats true of any place within reach of an urban area.  Perhaps if you're holed up somewhere in the wilderness its practical, but not near so-called civilization.

Doug

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shelter in place

I'm inclined to the "shelter in place" model, echoing the thoughts of others here.  Not being Grizzly Adams, and not wanting to participate in amateur hour in the national forests,  I'm thinking the best thing to do is to sit tight in the event of a "run for the hills" problem.  For a more sustained crisis (FerFAL tells us to expect 2-12 weeks of civil unrest in a currency collapse followed by adjustment to massively reduced living standards), I'll be banding together with family at whichever location has the best prospects.

I agree w/ AM; the vast majority of humans are utterly reliant upon technology for their daily bread, any major disruption (anybody else read "One Second After"?  See the movie "Threads"?) will result in major population loss.  Heartless and cruel notwithstanding, my goal is to see that me and mine simply survive such a period.  I'm not a big fan of JH Kunstler's attitude, but he writes compellingly about what life might be like in his "World Made By Hand" series.

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Poet, A bit closer to

Poet,

A bit closer to home. Rustling not only beeves but farm eq. fuel storage tanks etc. folks z 'ungry.

http://www.redbluffdailynews.com/ci_18254658?source=most_viewed

The opposite of trying to hide food:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/8446982/Farmer-paints-sheep-orange-to-prevent-rustling.html

robie

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