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Gear

7 Manual Kitchen Tools That Work with No Power

Editor’s note: Plan and Prepared welcomes Jack Neely back with his latest offering. Enjoy!

Manual kitchen tools that work with no power are important to have in case of an emergency which includes power outage. Having the right type of manual kitchen tools makes every task much easier. In fact for certain tasks, the manual kitchen tools work just as well or even better than the powered machines.

You might even discover that you enjoy the simplicity and the rustic appeal of using the manual tools for your daily kitchen tasks.

This list is assuming you already have standard kitchen utensils. Things like spatulas, whisks, etc. Instead, this list will focus on tools you may not have thought about to help you prepare food without the benefit of things like gas or electricity.

1. Manual Food Grinder

A manual food grinder is a must have manual kitchen tool especially for those who prefer making their own meatballs or sausages. The food grinder can be used to grind fruits, vegetables, pork, beef and even chicken, allowing you to make tasty meals.

Food grinders usually come with different tips, normally depending on how coarse or fine you want your food. A food grinder will also help you get your food ready for storage for times when you need it most. Keep in mind that the food grinder will not grind up grains; for that you’ll need the grain mill.

2. Mortar and Pestle Set

Mortar and pestle sets have been around for many years, but they’re often neglected because of the modern appliances we have now. However, these sets can efficiently do the task of grinding, crushing, and powdering seeds, nuts, herbs, teas and roots for all types of food.

This style of crushing or grinding releases all the best flavors in herbs, seeds, garlic and spices. If you plan on getting a set of mortar and pestle, you should consider going for the porcelain type as it’s much easier to clean and it doesn’t absorb the food odors.
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Off-grid cooking method – Here is one we recommend

off grid cooking

Adding rabbit meat to the oil and seasoning

Editor’s note: I want to welcome Cheryl L (my mom) to the site with her first article! Enjoy!

No matter what you are prepping for, at some point in time food preparation must enter into your preps. I am always trying to find ways to cook using a minimum amount of time, energy, effort, and fuel. So I plan my preps accordingly.

I prefer to keep my life simple and that includes getting everything done in the morning and taking it easy after all the work is done.  This is one of the reasons that I decided to purchase a thermal cooker.

Another reason I thought a thermal cooker would be a wonderful idea is for the ease of cooking a meal whether on a regular stove, a rocket stove, an open campfire, or in any emergency situation.  We live in tornado territory and I can take a thermal cooker down into the shelter along with the already stored dehydrated meals and water, etc. so that I can prepare them for my family if the need arises.  Be it a rabbit dinner or emergency food storage, I feel secure in having the means to take care of them.

I looked and researched on the internet, reading about several different thermal cookers. After some study I finally settled on the Saratoga Jack 7L thermal cooker.

I went with the Saratoga because it received a lot of positive feedback on Amazon, and because it comes with two heavy-duty pans that nestle together for cooking, (cook two separate pots at once) a lid, a cook book and of course the vacuüm cooker.

Saratoga Jack 7L thermal cooker

The Saratoga Jack thermal cooker is simple to use. You follow your regular recipes, bring the temperature to a rolling boil for a few minutes, and then seal the pot in the cooker.  And depending on the recipe your food is ready and waiting for you in the evening when you are ready to sit down to dinner.
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10 Items you should stock up on long term

Soap stockHopefully, as a prepper, you will have some food set back and stocked in case of a disaster. You will have water stored, as well as a few purification methods. You might have a weapon or two stored, and some extra ammunition. (Click the links to find out about water storage, weapons for SHTF, and storing ammo long-term). You might have extra gear and supplies on hand. But could there be items out there you haven’t thought about stockpiling for a long-term, grid down scenario?

In this article, I want to cover some items that you might not realize you should have plenty of  in case of a long-term disaster, and some reasons why it might be a good idea.

So let’s jump in.

Hygiene items

Being clean (or at least feeling clean) is a great boost to morale during a SHTF situation. And during a grid down scenario, you might not have enough water (or fuel to heat the water) for a hot shower. But that doesn’t mean you can’t keep yourself clean. So having some extra hygiene items is probably a good idea.

Things like toothpaste and shampoo have a shelf life of about 2 years from the date of manufacture once they are opened. (They can last around 3 years if unopened.)  Things like soap, mouthwash, and deodorant have a 3 year or so shelf life.

Keep in mind that the shelf life listed is for items stored at room temperature. Things like temperature extremes and direct sun light can degrade these products much more quickly.

If you cure your store-bought bars of soap (by removing the wrappers and letting them sit in the air for about 6 weeks) they will harden and last much longer.
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Top 7 “Prepper” Gifts for Non Preppers

top gifts for non preppersChances are that as a prepper, you most likely have those family members or friends that you love and care about who are not completely on board with the idea of being prepared. Maybe they see preppers as “kooky”. Or maybe they just choose to live their life with their head buried in the sand, thinking nothing will ever happen to them. Whatever the reason, they are still a part of your life. So maybe you “prep” for them.

That’s what I did. I have a fiancé (now wife) who was a non-prepper. I built her a little “Go bag” and told her to keep it in her car trunk “just in case.” A month later, she used her bag during a tornado. After that, the “light went on” in her head so to speak. It had a big impact on her life, and she is now doing things to be more prepared.

Fortunately, she was receptive to the idea of having the bag. I prepped for her should the unfortunate happen, and it paid off. So maybe you would like to do the same for those people in your life.

But what if you have family/friends that are not as receptive as my fiancé was? They may not like the idea of prepping, and any sort of “prepper” gift from you will be met with an eye roll and the obligatory “fake smile.”

Or maybe they just don’t know about prepping, and you are not sure how to bring it up. Either way, holiday gift giving may be the perfect time to “prep for them”.

I tend to use holidays and birthdays as a way of helping to prepare the “non preppers” in my life. There are gifts out there that you can give them that will help them be more prepared should SHTF, but without having the “prepper stigma” they might attach to it.

I have given each of the following items below as gifts:
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EDC – What’s in your pockets?

EDC, everyday carryWhen it comes to preparedness gear, the most important gear is that which you have on you at the time of the emergency. A life jacket on the boat is of no use to you if you are drowning in the ocean. And because emergencies are never planned and usually not expected, you will most likely not have a lot of gear on you when disaster first strikes.

This is why the Every Day Carry gear (EDC) that so many preppers talk about is a popular discussion. In reality, your EDC can be your first line of defense against unforeseen problems and emergencies.

Before we jump into this topic, I want to give you a word of caution. A mistake I see some preppers make is that they try and include way too much in their EDC. Those preppers think “The End Of The World As We Know It” (TEOTWAWKI) when trying to create an EDC kit. I want to tell them, “Well isn’t that what your Bug Out Bag or Get Home Bag (GHB) is for?”

For myself, I look at what I carry in my EDC different than what I have in my Go Bag. The Go bag is designed to help sustain me over a period of time for true SHTF scenarios. My EDC is there for temporary solutions to emergencies both big and small.

I don’t need my GHB for a temporary power outage. I don’t need it when I drop something between my car seats at night, or if the credit card machines at the gas station are not working. Instead, I have some small, simple tools that I have on me at all times for situations like these.

In a large scale SHTF scenario, my EDC could help to get me to my GHB, which I would then use to help get me home. Hence my EDC is not designed for long term problems or emergencies.
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EDC Holster Review – Tactical Rig Osborn Holster

holster1I am a firm believer in having a self-defense type weapon as a part of your EDC. (Every Day Carry). And I also advocate carrying that weapon concealed. While I carry a Glock 23 with a Streamlight Tactlite on duty, off duty I prefer something that is much easier to conceal. I carry a Sig Sauer P238.

The P238 comes with its own carry/conceal holster, a nice touch by Sig. But it rode too high on my waist for my liking. And it did not feel like it was completely secure.

So when the good folks at Osborn Holster offered to make me a carry/conceal leather holster for my Sig, and make it large enough to also carry a spare magazine, I said “Hell Yeah!”

For those of you who are not familiar with Osborn Holsters, they have been in the market for the past 3 to 4 years. They specialize in making custom holsters for almost any style of pistol. Osborn holsters are made right here in the USA, headquartered in Texas.

I ordered the IWB (Inside Waist Band) Tact rig for my Sig, and was surprised when it arrived less than a week later. I order firearm parts all the time. Many times it takes a week just to process the order and then ship the parts. So to have my holster fabricated and sent to me in that amount of time left me pleasantly surprised.

The first thing I noticed when I took it out of the package was how durable, yet flexible the leather was. I also noticed that the holes for the magazine attachments and the kydex had been reinforced with eyelets, which should help with the holster’s durability. I’m a big fan of buying products that are durable and long lasting. So I give bonus points for things like that.

The P238 fit securely in the Kydex molding. It was a bit snug, and took some effort to pull out. But the holster uses screws with rubber spacers to attach it to the leather. This means that the amount of retention can be adjusted. So between adjusting the screws, and normal use (break in period), the tight retention should not be an issue.
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