There is a wealth of information available on food storage, offering various recommendations for the types of foods to stock up on in preparation for unforeseen circumstances. However, the discussion around “survival beverages” is notably lacking.
Typically, experts emphasize the importance of water (which is a no-brainer) and coffee as the two most commonly recommended beverages. While water is essential for survival, coffee is more of a luxury and not critical to sustaining life. Considering that coffee is likely viewed as an indulgence for most people, why not explore other beverage options as well?
Allow me to provide some recommendations for your survival pantry concerning survival beverages. It is up to you to determine whether these should be incorporated into your supplies and the appropriate quantity to store.
Survival beverages for your survival pantry
Yes, I’ve mentioned that this is a no-brainer, but I wanted to shed some light on the analytical thinking of storing water. More precisely, I believe that there is a thought process folks should follow when they decide to store water.
First of all, you should calculate how much water you consume per family member each day and then start from there. Survival experts will recommend a minimum of 1 gallon of water per day for family members, but that’s just a recommendation. Depending on your environment, the season, and the needs of the person, this quantity can increase significantly. If you live in a hot environment and you do more than just lay on the couch, you will consume a lot of water, so 1 gallon might not be enough. If you have a baby or a toddler, you will need more than one gallon for food preparation and sanitation needs.
Do you see my point? Rather than relying on recommendations, how about doing the math and deciding what your real needs are when it comes to water?
Second, water storage comes with a lot of challenges, and you need to make sure you have the means to store the amount of water you need. Water is heavy and bulky, and you will soon realize that you will need a lot of storage space to cover your water needs. This is a big problem for those living in the city or folks with limited living space. If you can’t store enough water, you should consider the following recommendation.
Lastly, water procurement is a topic that shouldn’t be ignored, and you need to plan for it regardless of how much water you are able to store. If your water supply or water source becomes contaminated, you will need to find other water sources to cover your needs. Yes, you can purify the water, but it all depends on the means available and the level of contamination and contaminants. As mentioned above, water procurement is an important planning step for those lacking storage space.
Some drink coffee for the extra energy boost it provides, while others enjoy a cup of coffee just for its taste and nothing more. Regardless of the category of people you’re part of, storing coffee comes with its challenges.
Factors that can affect its flavor, aroma, and overall quality. Here are some key challenges associated with long-term coffee storage you should consider:
Oxidation: Coffee beans contain oils that can oxidize over time when exposed to air. Oxidation can lead to a loss of flavor and freshness. It’s crucial to store coffee in airtight containers to minimize air exposure.
Moisture: Coffee readily absorbs moisture from the surrounding environment, leading to the growth of mold and the degradation of the beans. Storing coffee in a dry environment and using moisture-resistant packaging is essential to prevent quality deterioration.
Light Exposure: Exposure to light, especially sunlight, can accelerate the breakdown of coffee compounds and compromise its flavor. Coffee should be stored in opaque or dark containers to protect it from light.
Temperature Fluctuations: Extreme temperature changes can negatively impact the oils in coffee beans and contribute to flavor loss. It is recommended to store coffee in a cool, consistent environment to maintain its quality.
Flavor Contamination: Coffee has a porous structure and can easily absorb odors from its surroundings. Storing coffee near strong-smelling substances can lead to flavor contamination. Keep coffee away from spices, strong-smelling foods, and other aromatic items.
Packaging Quality: The type of packaging used for storing coffee is crucial. Bags with a one-way valve that allows gases to escape while preventing air from entering are ideal. Vacuum-sealed containers are also effective in preserving freshness.
Time: Coffee is best enjoyed when it’s freshly roasted. Over time, even under ideal storage conditions, coffee will inevitably lose some of its aromatic compounds and flavor. For the best results, try to consume stored coffee within a reasonable time frame.
When it comes to storing tea for your survival needs, there is a purpose of the beverage that needs to be addressed. While some drink tea to improve their morale and take a break from the tumultuous world, others drink it for its medicinal value. I, for one, am one of the folks that stores medicinal tea made from the many plants I’ve foraged.
I do enjoy the occasional cup of tea, but I prefer to drink tea for its medicinal qualities. If you plan to store tea, here are my recommendations:
Air and Moisture Exposure: Similar to coffee, tea leaves can absorb odors and flavors from their surroundings. Storing tea in airtight containers is essential to prevent exposure to air and moisture, which can lead to staleness and flavor degradation. I have containers with good seals to maintain freshness.
Light Protection: Tea is sensitive to light, and prolonged exposure to sunlight or even artificial light can cause it to lose its flavor and aroma. It is advisable to store tea in opaque, airtight containers or in dark-colored packaging to protect it from light.
Temperature: Tea is best stored in a cool and dry environment. Avoid exposing it to extreme temperature fluctuations, as this can affect its quality.
Packaging Material: The material of the storage container matters. If you buy tea in well-sealed packaging, I recommend transferring them to airtight, opaque containers that can provide an extra layer of protection. Glass, tin, or ceramic containers with tight-fitting lids are my choice.
Humidity Control: If you live in a humid climate, consider using desiccants or moisture-absorbing packets in your storage containers to help control humidity levels.
Storing powdered milk for survival needs is a practical and valuable strategy for several reasons besides its long Shelf Life. Properly stored, it can last for several years, making it an excellent option for emergency food supplies or situations where access to fresh dairy may be limited.
Powdered milk retains most of the nutritional benefits found in fresh milk. It is a good source of essential nutrients such as calcium, vitamin D, and protein. Having powdered milk on hand ensures access to these vital nutrients during emergencies or when fresh milk is unavailable.
It is a versatile beverage and can be used in various recipes and applications. It can be reconstituted with water to create liquid milk for drinking or cooking. Additionally, it can be incorporated into recipes for baking, soups, sauces, and other dishes, providing a valuable ingredient in diverse meal preparations.
The shelf life of powdered milk largely depends on factors such as packaging, storage conditions, and the presence of moisture. Generally, if stored in a cool, dry place in a well-sealed container, powdered milk can last for several years.
Storing cocoa for survival needs can be a delightful addition to your emergency food supplies, offering both comfort and versatility. Storing cocoa is beneficial in stressful situations. Having familiar and comforting items like cocoa can provide a morale boost. A warm cup of cocoa can be a source of comfort, especially in challenging times.
Nutritional Value: Cocoa contains antioxidants and some essential minerals, such as magnesium and iron. While it may not serve as a primary source of nutrition, incorporating cocoa into your emergency supplies adds a touch of flavor and a small nutritional benefit.
Versatility: Cocoa is versatile and can be used in various recipes beyond just hot chocolate. It can be added to baking recipes, desserts, and even savory dishes, providing flexibility in creating a variety of flavorful meals.
Long Shelf Life: Similar to powdered milk, cocoa powder has a relatively long shelf life when stored properly. Sealed in airtight containers and kept in a cool, dry place, cocoa powder can remain viable for an extended period, making it a reliable option for long-term storage.
Compact and Lightweight: Cocoa powder is compact and lightweight, making it easy to store and transport. Its low moisture content contributes to its stability, and it doesn’t require refrigeration, making it suitable for emergency kits and long-term storage.
The shelf life of cocoa depends on the same factors as mentioned for powdered milk.
Storing juice for survival needs can provide a refreshing and nutritious beverage option, especially when access to fresh fruits may be limited. Those who have a family comprised of young and old people decide to store juice since it’s a great morale booster for their loved ones.
Some juices, especially those without added sugars, can provide natural sugars that serve as a quick source of energy. This can be helpful in situations where maintaining energy levels is crucial.
Storing fresh juice poses a challenge due to its limited shelf life. Refrigeration extends its viability to only a few days, and long-term storage alternatives are constrained. While freezing freshly squeezed juice might be considered, it’s not an optimal solution. Unlike store-bought counterparts, homemade juice lacks preservatives, leading to noticeable flavor and nutrient degradation within a month of being stored in the freezer.
However, there are still alternatives to storing juice for more than a year to make sure you enjoy a glass of cold juice when needed.
Unopened commercially bottled juices, especially those sold in aseptic tetra packs, bottles, or cans, have a relatively long shelf life. This can range from several months to over a year, depending on the type of juice and the specific preservation methods used. Always check the expiration date on the packaging for accurate information.
For me, powdered juice mixes are the way to go because when stored in a cool, dry place and kept in a sealed container, they can have a shelf life of several months to a year or more. I recommend checking the packaging for specific storage recommendations and expiration dates. I used the powdered juice mix 5 months after its expiration date, and it was fine. However, I made sure it was stored properly and there weren’t any fluctuating temperatures in my storage room.
An alternative, yet unexplored by me personally, is frozen juice concentrate. These concentrates can be safely stored in the freezer for an extended period, often ranging from several months to a year or more. Upon thawing, it is crucial to adhere to the recommended guidelines for refrigeration and consumption within a specified timeframe. While many preppers have recommended the ones from Old Orchard, I must confess that I have yet to personally test them.
It’s crucial to note that the shelf life is influenced by proper storage conditions. Store juice in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight and temperature fluctuations. Exposure to heat, light, and air can accelerate the deterioration of both the flavor and nutritional content of the juice.
Storing energizing drinks for survival needs can be advantageous for maintaining energy levels during demanding situations. Here are some reasons why some preppers have started adding these to their survival pantry:
Caffeine is a common ingredient in some energizing drinks, and these drinks can enhance alertness and concentration. Having caffeinated drinks on hand can be valuable during emergencies or situations where sustained focus is crucial.
Energizing drinks, often containing electrolytes or other energy-boosting ingredients, can provide a rapid and convenient source of energy. This can be particularly useful in emergencies or situations requiring sustained physical or mental effort.
Some energizing drinks, such as sports drinks, contain electrolytes, which can aid in maintaining proper hydration levels. Electrolytes are essential for various bodily functions and can be depleted during strenuous activities. These beverages are suggested for individuals residing in warm climates who frequently engage in tasks demanding high levels of physical exertion.
Many energizing drinks come in portable and ready-to-drink packaging, making them convenient for on-the-go consumption. This is valuable in situations where time and resources for food preparation may be limited.
The market offers a variety of energizing drinks, including energy shots, sports drinks, and caffeinated survival beverages. This diversity allows individuals to choose the type of energizing drink that aligns with their preferences and needs.
Like other packaged beverages, many energizing drinks have a long shelf life, especially if stored in proper conditions. This makes them suitable for inclusion in emergency supplies, where extended shelf life is a crucial consideration.
When storing energizing drinks, consider the following:
You should opt for drinks with packaging designed for long-term storage, such as sealed cans, bottles, or pouches. Ensure that the packaging remains intact to prevent contamination and maintain product quality.
Store energizing beverages in a cool, dry location, shielded from direct sunlight and temperature fluctuations. Steer clear of high humidity, as it may jeopardize the quality of certain drinks. I once left a Red Bull can on the back seat of my car, and it burst open when the vehicle heated up under the scorching sun.
Regularly inspect the expiration dates and rotate your inventory, consuming the oldest items first. This approach guarantees the presence of fresh and effective energizing drinks in your emergency provisions. It’s worth noting that expiration dates can vary significantly between different manufacturers of these survival beverages.
Immunity boosting drinks
The topic of immunity-boosting drinks and their benefits can be surrounded by varying opinions and some controversy. While certain ingredients and nutrients are generally recognized for their potential immune-supporting properties, it’s essential to approach these claims with a critical mindset.
Many immunity-boosting drinks contain ingredients such as vitamins (e.g., vitamin C, vitamin D), antioxidants, and herbs (e.g., echinacea, ginger, turmeric), which are known for their potential health benefits. However, the effectiveness of these ingredients can vary, and individual responses may differ.
Some ingredients in immunity-boosting drinks have been studied for their potential benefits to the immune system. However, the scientific evidence supporting the effectiveness of these drinks in preventing or treating illnesses may not always be conclusive or universally agreed upon.
The impact of immunity-boosting drinks can depend on factors such as an individual’s diet, overall health, nutritional status, and any pre-existing medical conditions. What works well for one person may not have the same effect on another. Relying solely on specific drinks or supplements may not provide the comprehensive benefits of a well-rounded diet.
Some controversy arises from marketing claims made by manufacturers of these drinks. It’s important for those wanting to store such survival beverages to critically evaluate these claims and be aware of the distinction between scientifically supported benefits and promotional messaging.
The market offers a variety of immunity-boosting drinks, including herbal teas, vitamin-infused waters, and beverages containing ingredients like ginger, turmeric, and echinacea. Having a selection allows individuals to choose drinks that align with their preferences and health needs.
Also, if you have specific health concerns or conditions, you should consult with healthcare professionals before relying solely on immunity-boosting drinks. Healthcare providers can provide personalized advice based on an individual’s health status. I’ve seen young people drinking these survival beverages like water, and I’m pretty sure long-term consumption of such drinks can lead to vitamin imbalances.
I’ve noticed this is a growing trend amongst new preppers, especially the younger ones, and they believe that storing such drinks will cover both their hydration and vitamin requirements.
Many commercially available immunity-boosting drinks come in packaging that extends their shelf life. Properly stored, these beverages can remain viable for an extended period, making them suitable for inclusion in emergency supplies.
However, when storing immunity-boosting drinks, consider the packaging, storage condition, and rotation system. Choose drinks with packaging suitable for long-term storage, such as sealed bottles, cans, or vacuum-sealed pouches. Ensure that the packaging remains intact to prevent contamination. Store immunity-boosting drinks in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and temperature fluctuations. Avoid exposing them to high humidity to maintain product quality. Check expiration dates regularly and rotate your stock to consume the oldest items first.
So, these are the survival beverages that some preppers include in their survival pantry, and you may have noticed the absence of alcohol in my recommendations. There’s a deliberate choice behind this, as I personally don’t maintain an alcohol reserve. While I have the knowledge to make beer and wine, I don’t prioritize these beverages in a survival scenario.
If you wish to keep alcohol for recreational purposes, that’s entirely acceptable, provided it doesn’t become a primary source of “entertainment” on which you heavily rely. However, if considering alcohol for bartering purposes, I would advise a reconsideration of this strategy. Engaging with individuals who prioritize vices over essentials like food and water could potentially lead to trouble. While alcohol has alternative uses beyond consumption, similar to other products, preppers must establish their priorities regarding what to include in their pantry.