Bugging in #1: food storage

Updated: Jul 17, 2018

'Bugging in' refers to hunkering down at home in the event of a SHTF event. What distinguishes this from simply 'staying at home' are the preparations made to enable survival at home without the usual networked infrastructure - flowing water, sanitation, electricity, gas etc. Stockpiles of food, water and other essential items are built up for the event that food supply networks are disrupted, and to remove the necessity to risk leaving home to source supplies, in the context of social unrest and violence.

The internet is brimming with advice on what food items to store, on how much food of what type might be needed to support survival for different periods of time, on how to build up, manage and rotate a supply. Some recommendations lean towards packaged and condensed emergency food rations that take up little space. Others show you how to produce your own long-lasting food stuffs: how to dehydrate, vacuum pack, can, preserve and pickle foods. Others advise to stock up on foods that you and your family eat and enjoy regularly, more everyday store cupboard foods, but with an eye to how these could be used and cooked without the usual cooking infrastructure. It is suggested to get into the habit of always adding extra items to your shop to spread the cost of building up a supply, and to keep good records to replenish and rotate the food stash with your everyday cupboard items. This process of planning seems to bring a real awareness of food costs, of nutritional needs, of different preparation techniques.


I'm interested in what it entails in having and managing a food stash, how much space it takes to store food to last for different lengths of time, the assumptions and compromises that need to be made in thinking through what will be eaten, and how it will be prepared, in SHTF scenarios. To try and understand and ground all the different advice, I'm going to learn by doing. I just need to clear out some kitchen cupboards to make room first...


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Funding Partners

The Wellcome Trust, through Birkbeck ISSF fund