37 Foods to Hoard
Essential foods to stock in your Prepper's pantry
Every day food storage is an important topic! The more people who prep, the safer we
all are, which is why we're giving away information for free. Looking for a list of grocery
store survival food? Wondering what are the best canned foods for prepping? Take
stock of the 37 most important goods to buy from the grocery store while they are still
available. Here's the totally free emergency preparedness information of 37 vital food
items -- a free guide:
Preppers list of 37 Foods To Hoard Before Crisis
- Distilled water and seltzer water: Water isn't a food to hoard, but you certainly
can't live without it, which is why water is #1 on the list. Distilled water is the
most pure form of water. Get water now and make plans to get more water.
Consider adding canned seltzer water to your pantry as well. Canned seltzer
water lasts indefinitely, adds a fizzy pep to your water supply and even helps
relieve constipation! Avoid seltzer if you have acid reflux.
- Canned liquids. It's important to stock up on canned foods with high liquid
content. Two excellent examples are canned pineapple juice and vegetable juice
available on the bottom shelves of your grocery store. These foods will provide
nutrition and hydration simultaneously. Look also for evaporated milk,
condensed milk, and canned coconut milk. Coconut milk will help you cook rice
faster! Stewed tomatoes, and vegetable, beef or chicken stock can also help you
cook rice without depleting your drinking water. It's also a great excuse to stock
up on canned beer, which you can use to cook!
- Dehydrated (powdered) milk. Bob's Red Mill dehydrated milk lasts up to two
years, and is an excellent natural creamer for coffee. Skip the non-dairy
creamers made of hydrogenated oils and use powdered milk instead. Goats milk
comes in powdered form as well. Buy dehydrated powdered milk by the bucket.
- Hard cheeses encased in wax. Waxed hard cheeses are not so easy to find,
but they are available. Parmesan, swiss, sharp cheddar or Gouda encased in
wax is a very "Gouda" thing to find! Wax prevents cheese from growing mold
and bacteria, and it also keeps moisture in your cheese, so it can store for a
very long time without refrigeration. Parmesan is a hard cheese, and in the
powder form has a four month expiration date, but encased in wax it can last up
to 25 years! Consider buying cheese wax and even a basic hard cheese kit to
make your own delicious cheeses. Wax will keep hard cheeses moist during the
aging process, and also prevent unwanted mold growth on your aging cheeses.
Here's more about prepper cheese.
- Protein bars and protein drinks (Whey Powder or protein concentrate). You
know that Little Miss Muffet ate her curds and whey, and so should you. In
cheese making, curds are the thick part of the milk that's separated from the
liquid when the milk turns sour. Whey is the watery part that's cloudy and
yellowish. Whey is highly nutritious! Bob's Red Mill offers an all natural whey
protein concentrate. Whey contains a high quality complete protein containing all
of the essential amino acids required by the body for strength and muscle
development. It is a great way of increasing protein intake without adding
excessive carbohydrates and fat. It dissolves instantly so it 's great for making
high protein shakes and smoothies. In survival times, mix it with dehydrated milk
for an extra frothy and satisfying nutrient! So while this isn't the first thing that
will fly off the shelves in the event of a crisis, it's one Happy Preppers should
have on their list.
- Canned & dehydrated meats. The best prepper protein source is meat. Go for
the jerky! Tune-in to the tuna. Stack up on the Dak! Meats provide humans with
around 90% of sustenance needed to survive. In fact, 90% of plants are deadly
to humans. Man must eat meat! When possible, look for grass-fed meats, like
Yoder's brand. Canned salmon, canned sardines, canned mackeral and canned
tuna are rich in necessary Omega 3 oils. Stock your refrigerator with meats too.
Smoked salmon, sausages and hot dogs can last a long time in your refrigerator.
Store organic hot dogs and sausages, such as Applegate Farms Uncured Beef
Hot Dogs, which are made from organic, grass-fed beef. Consume them first in a
- Coffee, tea and bouillon (meat stock cubes). Coffee provides the primary
benefit of increased mental alertness. Learn the many reasons to stock coffee in
your preps. Tea has been around for 5,000+ years for a reason! Water quality of
our ancestors wasn't very good, so tea helped it taste better and boiling water
killed bacteria. In an emergency situation, tea can help you hydrate quickly when
you can't wait for the boiled water to cool. Caffeinated teas provide a burst of
additional energy; while other teas can provide a calming and soothing effect,
which you may need. Additionally, many kinds of tea have anti-cancer properties
(polyphenols), and reduce the risk of blood clotting and even lowers cholesterol
levels. Consider adding echinacea, peppermint and chamomile teas to help
combat the common cold, naturally, too! Bouillon cubes are compressed stock.
This salty essential will help you flavor soups, rices, ramen style noodles and
gravies. Even if you don't use coffee, tea or bouillon in your regular diet,
consider securing them for your Prepper's pantry for bartering!
- Oils. You can't cook much without oil! Buy oil small containers and look for the
word "virgin" which means that they are the first press and have the most
nutritive value. Olive oil is an ideal oil, but can quickly go rancid, thought it may
have a shelf life up to two years. Shortening usually has trans fats, so consider
coconut oil as cooking lard to replace Crisco or other vegetable shortening,
which is made of dangerous trans fats. Coconut oil is very heat stable, and
because it's low to oxidize, it means that it won't go rancid as quickly as other
oils. It can last up to two years, and it provides fast energy. Read more about
storing coconut in your preps! Ghee, here's something to consider: Ghee. Ghee
is butter that's been melted and simmered down until all the water has
evaporated and the milk solids have settled at the bottom. It has a long shelf
life. Butter. Pure Creamery Butter, pictured right, comes in a can and lasts three
years. Organic shortening is a good alternative to hydrogenated Crisco. It lasts
indefinitely. Lard. Surprisingly, new studies show lard is a healthful cooking fat!
It's versatile too. Other oils. If possible, look for a NON-GMO corn oil, as 86% of
corn has been genetically modified. Whatever oil you buy, be sure to buy them in
small containers as the minute you open, they oxidate and begin deteriorating
quickly. Avoid anything made with Soybean oil as 90% of soybean products are
genetically modified or cross-contaminated. Here's how to make your own oils.
- Whole wheat flour. Wheat is a basic food product that's chock full of fiber,
protein, vitamins and even minerals, like selenium. If you stock white flour in
your daily pantry, be sure to stock wheat flour in your Prepper's pantry because
it has more nutritive value when it has the whole grain (bran, germ and
endosperm). White flour has only the endosperm. Thankfully, "There is not
currently, nor has there ever been, any genetically engineered wheat on the
market," according to the Non-GMO project, so stock up! You may also need flour
for thickening gravies, or coat and fry, such things as freshly caught fish. If you
have whole wheat flour, you won't have to stock genetically modified corn
starch, which is also used for thickening. Consider Bob's Red Mill Whole Wheat
flour because it comes wrapped in plastic, rather than a paper bag which is more
susceptible to pest invasions. Ultimately, you should store whole wheat flour in
your every day pantry. Your long term pantry should include whole grain wheat
and you should have a grain mill. Read more about grains.
- Wheat germ and Shredded Wheat. Wheat germ has high levels of fiber and
vitamin E to boost your immune systems. Wheat germ is the center of the seed.
Packed with protein and fiber, wheat germ also has folate, magnesium, zinc,
manganese, selenium and vitamin E. It's considered "nutrition in a crunch." It's
not really a meal, but one you can add to your hot cereal. The first edition of the
Boy Scout Manual in 1911 highlights the best food for Boy Scouts is Shredded
Wheat, "because it has all the muscle-building material in the whole wheat grain
prepared in a digestible form, supplying all the strength needed for work or
- Potato flour. Consider adding potato flour to your Prepper's Pantry. Potato flour
is wonderful, gluten-free addition to your Prepper's Pantry to make breads,
pancakes and waffles, and potato soups. It's also wonderful as a thickening
agent, so you can avoid GMO cornstarch. Don't confuse it with potato starch,
because potato flour is the entire potato (skin and all) dehydrated.
- Corn as a grain (dried). Corn as a grain is an essential prepper food and there
are many kinds of dried corn. Popcorn is a grain that can be ground into flour!
Spanish for "dough," masa is the flour of finely ground maize, hominy or corn.
It's basically been dried, cooked, ground, soaked in lime and then dried again. It
reconstitutes easily with warm water and salt to make corn tortillas. You can
also use Masa harina to make the dough for empanadas, papusas and tamales.
Look for organic brands, which will ensure you're not getting a dangerous
genetically modified food products. While Masa Harina is a finely ground meal,
corn grits is more versatile, hearty and nutritious basic food. Nothing satisfies
like the savory experience of Bob's Red Mill gluten-free corn grits (also called
polenta). For breakfast, you will love it with milk and honey. Grits left in a pot to
cool become polenta. In this way, you can serve it for dinner with butter,
cheese, marinara or gravy. You can also purchase alkali-treated corn (actually
dried maize kernels) known as hominy, which is largely popular in Southern and
Mexican cuisine. Popular in the South, you can also find this product out West if
you look for it in cans in the Mexican food isles. Hominy is high in calcium content.
- Corn as a vegetable. Corn as a vegetable is also an important pantry essential.
(Corn is both a grain and a vegetable: the only difference is that as a grain it's
dried before harvesting.) Buy organic corn in cans to help ensure it's not
genetically modified as most corn is GMO. In stores, look for the "Non-GMO
project verified" label to avoid buying genetically modified corn. Steer clear of
GMO corn products by purchasing organic (shockingly, 86% of the world's corn is
- Oats and Oatmeal. A favorite of American pioneers, oatmeal is a food low in
saturated fat, and it's also a good source of fiber, which is especially important
during survival times. You'll need to store adequate water as making the
porridge requires 4 cups of water for every one cup of oatmeal. A tip for
preparing is to soak the oatmeal over night, so that it takes just 9-12 minutes to
boil (instead of a half an hour). Look for John McCann's steel cut oatmeal in a
can, which are 100% whole grain and natural Irish oats. Stock up on emergency
buckets of rolled oats and quick oats today, and learn more about why oats are
an important part of your food storage.
- Bread crumbs and stuffings. Bread crumbs are a satisfying addition to
casseroles, and can also help you make salmon and crab cakes with the cans in
your Prepper's food storage. Unfortunately, it's difficult to find Bread crumbs
sealed in plastic for freshness. Usually, they are boxed in waxed paper. Stuffing
is a natural accompaniment to your mashed potatoes and will mix nicely with
spices and dehydrated onions. Try also, bread in a can, and pumpernickel. Learn
to like Pumpernickel and make it part of your everyday diet! This amazing whole
grain rye bread (enjoyed by Germans and Scandinavians with cheeses, pates
and meats), packs a mighty punch of fiber and has a three or four month shelf
life! You can make a satisfying meal with even one slice of bread. In the
beginning of a food crises situation, you will find yourself feeling full from this
nutritious bread. So pack some pate and store Pumpernickel regularly. (You'll
feel regular too.)
- Shelf stable, ready to eat meals. If you look around the grocery stores, you'll
find plenty of shelf stable, ready to eat meals. GoPicnic, pictured right, is just
one of them. Another good find is Tuna Salad kits with crackers, like the one
pictured right, from BumbleBee. Try also French Bistro.
- Crackers. While crackers have little nutritive value, they do provide a sense of
normalcy to a survival situation and will be a worthy an satisfying
accompaniment to soups and tuna salad, and peanut butter stashes in the
Prepper's Pantry. You may find some surprising nutritive benefits such as niacin
and iron in flaky flavorful crackers. In your long term food storage you'll need to
buy some pilot crackers in a #10 can.
- Potato Flakes and au gratin potatoes. If you can find a shelf-stable variety of
au gratin or scalloped potatoes that don't have hydrogenated oils, then go for
it. Left is Edward and Sons. Unfortunately, most au gratin potatoes have them
(so skip Wegmann's, Betty Crocker and Idahoan until they stop including
hydrogenated oils in their manufacture). Look for au gratin potatoes at organic
based food market, like Whole Foods. There are plenty of more reasons why you
should make potatoes part of your long-term food storage plan.
- Rice. Sure jasmine rice is cheap food, and worth storing but you can also store a
variety of rice to keep your family interested. Try basmati rice, Italian arborio
rice, short grain Asian rice, wild rice, and brown rice too! Brown rice is a healthy
option, but requires more cooking time, which could deplete your cooking
resources. Consider instant rice for this reason alone, though it's not as healthy
as other rice options.
- Pastas. Dried pasta has little to no fat or moisture content, so it resists spoilage.
Among the most filling and inexpensive foods, store a variety of pastas in
addition to your spaghetti and macaroni noodles including: egg noodles, gnocchi
(made with potatoes), dried tortellini (filled with hard cheese), orzo (rice shaped
pasta), couscous (wheat-based pasta) and the other variety of shaped Italian
pasta such as lasagna, linguine, rotelle, rotini, rigatoni, orecchiette, penne,
mastoccilli etc. Remember Asian pastas too! There are healthier options to the
inexpensive ramen style noodles. Try soba (made from buckwheat), rice noodles,
udon (wheat flour), bean curd noodles, and chow main noodles (fried noodles
made of egg and wheat).
- Raisins, dried fruits and fruit strips. Just a handful of raisins will provide a full
serving of fruit. Raisins have protein, fiber, iron, and Vitamin C. Raisins are
loaded with antioxidants and potassium, too. Use them in your Prepper's pantry
to enhance the flavor of rice for dinner and cereals for breakfasts. Remember,
raisins are a dried fruit and not a dehydrated food. There is a difference in how
you store each. Organic raisins are the best choice so you can avoid toxic
pesticides of commercial farming. Newmans Own is an excellent choice. These
raisins are packed with juicy flavor and a pleasing texture, and are available by
the six pack in 15-oz cans for your prepper's pantry and delivered to your door.
Enhance your supply with dried apricots, dates, cranberries, mangos and
whatever your family enjoys. Skip the fruit rollups, which are ladened with
unwanted high-fructose corn syrups. Instead, look for Simply Fruit twists and
high fiber dried fruit strips available in a variety of flavors, such as cherry, grape,
and apricot. The more variety, the better for your family to fight boredom in diet
and to get the essential nutrients they each provide
- Jams and jellies. Jams and jellies are a canning favorite from blackberry jams,
strawberry jams, raspberry jams, grape jellies and also apple butters, your
pantry can easily have a variety of fruit spreads to sweeten life.
- Canned fruits. Most people stock up on canned veggies, but really it's the fruit
they should concentrate on because fruits contain twice as much calories per
pound as veggies. A fruit cocktail will give you about 300-400 calories per pound.
Peaches, packed in light syrup offer a tremendous calorie boost to the survival
diet. The liquids also provide a valuable source of hydration, so don't can the
juice in the cans! Look for citrus varieties, such as pineapple and mandarin
oranges, to give the essential vitamin C. Applesauce too can be a wonderful
accompaniment to cereals, and can also serve as a dessert. Canned pumpkin
puree will also provide a heavy dose of Vitamin A and you can make a simple
soup by adding bouillon and spices, such as garlic.
- Canned veggies. Think beyond green beans! Unfortunately, green beans do not
pack many calories. If you're looking for the ideal veggies to stash, then think
about canned root vegetables, like sweet potatoes and yams. Sweet potatoes
are high in Vitamin A, plus they're filling. Add a variety with canned sauerkraut,
cabbage and beets, too. If you eat them, carrots, peas and potatoes provide
the fixing for a nice stew. Canned olives, asparagus and artichoke hearts will
help you make easy pasta dishes. Dried veggies, right are available online. Skip
the canned corn (it's likely GMO).
- Beans and legumes. Stock up on beans -- all kinds of dried beans and canned
beans, (including refried beans). The more variety of beans you store, the better
as it provides energy and fiber. Beans pack around 1250 calories per pound.
Best of all, you can sprout beans -- it as little as five days you can sprout
crunchy, fresh phytonutrients for your family from dried beans, peas, and lentils.
(See the sprouter, immediate right.) Peanuts aren't really nuts (they're beans,
but stock up on those too because they add protein).
- Nuts, seeds and nut-butters. While it's true that nuts can go rancid quickly, nuts
are an excellent source of energy, so stock up on them in your Prepper's pantry
(provided there are no allergies in your family)! Raw almonds, walnuts and
cashews are excellent choices, pistachio's too. Mixed roasted nuts will also
provide varieties, such as hazelnuts, pecans and Brazil nuts. Nuts are obviously
allergens, so avoid giving them to children under 5. Think also canned chestnuts,
which are a great source of fiber and found in the Asian section of your
supermarket. (They're also an excellent source of potassium, magnesium, iron
and vitamin C.) The healthiest nuts and seeds are in bags, rather than oil filled
cans and jars. Think sunflower seeds and alfalfa seeds too! Yes, you already
knew to stock peanut butter, but did you know that peanut butter is really a
bean butter? Look for peanut butters that are simply peanuts, oil and salt (yes,
the kind with oils at the top, which are the natural peanut butters). Skip the
peanut butters that have sugars in them or worse yet, those with hydrogenated
oils in them. Know that "trans fat free" doesn't mean that they are free from
trans fats, it could mean that there is less than .05 grams of trans fat per
- Honey. Even if you don't use honey, buy some honey, honey! Not only will
honey last forever, but you'll use honey in survival times to flavor boring
oatmeals and other breakfast grains, as well as teas. Honey eases sore throats,
and more importantly, if you don't have any topical antibiotics, you can use
honey as a paste to put on wounds. Here are medicinal and other reasons to
stock honey in your preps. When you learn how to bake breads, you'll realize
that many recipes call for honey. So, honey, what are you waiting for?
- Iodized salt. Look to history and you'll find salt was an important commodity.
Salt can kill bacteria! Salt contains chloride and sodium ions, and all living things
need these components in small quantities. Not all salt is the same! Humans
need iodized salt to avoid thyroid gland problems and goiter and to help
regulate fluid balance in the body, but more importantly we need salt to
preserve food. How does salt help preserve food? Salt inhibits growth of germs
in a process of osmosis where the salt pushes water out of the microbial cells.
Best of all, salt lasts for ever. You can salt everything from salad greens the way
the Roman's did to curing meats and preserving other kinds food. Indeed, salt is
very useful to Preppers.
- Sugars and Molasses. You'll need granulated sugar, brown sugar and powdered
sugar. We also suggest buying sugar in the raw. Skip the beet and go for the
cane, baby! Skip also the sugars that you can buy in boxes and paper bags. Buy
your sugars wrapped in plastic, because this helps protect it from insects. As a
second step you can buy sugars in cans or place your own sugar purchase into
mylar bags and sealed food-grade plastic buckets sealed with a gamma lid. Look
also for sugar in the raw packets. One final note of caution with spices: if you
regularly eat curry or other spicy foods then it's fine to include them in your
Prepper's diet; however, you may well find yourself with a "ring of fire"
otherwise. We therefore suggest you cautiously pack
- Spices and herbs. Survival spices to consider might include saffron will sure
make that boring old rice more tasty, and chili to add flavor to all those beans
you're storing. Buy more of the spices already in your cupboard. Some good
basics include dill, red pepper, cumin, rosemary, oregano, dried mustard, and
ginger in addition to the saffron and chili. Skip the strong spices curry! While it
tastes wonderful, they may also attract human predators. If you're stocking
beans make sure to get pinto bean seasoning, right, to enhance the flavor of
- Condiments. Buy pickle relish and small cans of mayonnaise for your tuna salad
on crackers (because once you open the mayo, it will quickly go bad). If possible
look for a mayo that's not made with from deadly soybeans (90% of which are
GMO). A variety of mustards can also help spice up your foods. Buy ketchup
without deadly high-fructose corn syrup, and keep it in a brown paper bag and
store in a dark place so that it will preserve as long as possible. Tabasco sauce,
too can help add flavor to otherwise bland foods. Think also of canned gravy as
a condiment! Gravies will surely add some flavoring to your potatoes and
stuffing. Look for NON-GMO soy sauce for all that rice. Stock vinegars (balsamic,
cider and rice whine). Think also in terms of Worcestershire sauce, barbecue
sauce and to enhance your stews and soups and to help you make gravies. And
on the sweet side, consider stocking maple syrup, vanilla and almond extracts,
plus cocoa powder and chocolate syrups.
- Chocolates. Not only does chocolate pack loads of antioxidants, but it's a morale
booster that could prove essential. What's more the fiber will fill you up. Pack
high quality dark chocolate, like Dove bars, in your Prepper's Pantry. If you look
closely at the ingredients, of other chocolates, like Hershey's Kisses, you'll find
an unwanted ingredient: hydrogenated oils. Those do not belong in your
chocolate, even during survival times! Besides, chocolate has been known to
boost heart health. According to Livestrong.com, chocolates may help fight
urinary tract infections. So be sure to keep chocolates in your every day food
storage. You can add chocolate chips to pancakes, muffins, breads, and more to
delight kids and help keep the normalcy as best you can in a disaster situation.
- Vitamins. Keeping at peek vitality is crucial during episodes of stress. While
multi-vitamins are a great idea, be sure to pack a Calcium with Vitamin D fortified
vitamin, as this combination may help your body fight infections. Also, look for
magnesium; As an essential stress supplement, magnesium prevents the
damage caused by excess adrenaline.
- Food bars. Ideal for a bug out bag, food bars are compact nutrition and should
be part of your everyday food storage. Sure, some food bars are a sort of cross
between chocolate candy bars and vitamins, others more of a granola, but they
are often high in protein. Food bars can provide a satisfaction for a morning meal
or an addition to your other rations. Look for coconut bars too! Another food bar
that often goes under the radar with Prepper's (but shouldn't) is Pemmican,
pictured right, which contains complete protein and gives energy. Free of
isolates, fructose, sugar and cholesterol, Pemmican is a concentrated food bar
that offers quick energy. Another good choice of food bars is Oskri brand coconut
- Vodka. You can cook with it, drink it or barter it. What's more, vodka has a some
medicinal value as well. Use vodka as a mouthwash or help numb the pain of a
tooth ache. Apply vodka dabs to cold sores to dry them out, as an anesthetic for
blisters, or to ease poison ivy and as a skin repellent to shoo flies and
mosquitoes. Have stinky feet? Wipe the smell clean with vodka. Try vodka too
for cleaning the lenses of eyeglasses. Who knew vodka would be such a
versatile pantry item?
- Dry yeast. Unfortunately, yeast has a very short shelf life. Dry yeast is an
essential leavening agent in baking bread, and has a longer shelf life than
compressed yeast, but still after several months it loses potency. It's purpose is
to convert the ferment able sugars of dough into carbon dioxide and ethanol.
Look for Fleishmann's Active Dry Yeast, which is the original active dry yeast,
relatively stable and valued for its consistent performance since 1945. It's one of
the most essential ingredients to use in your pantry immediately following a
- Baking soda and baking powder. Both baking soda and baking powder are
leavening agents, which means they produce carbon dioxide to help food rise.
- Baking soda: Pure sodium bicarbonate, when you combine baking soda
with honey or an acidic ingredient like buttermilk or yogurt, you'll get a
chemical reaction of carbon dioxide bubbles. This causes baked goods to
rise. Look for aluminum free baking soda (a good choice is Bob's Red Mill,
which is extracted in an all natural process without chemicals. Baking soda
can last two years. Learn why you should store baking soda in your preps.
- Baking powder: Baking powder has sodium bicarbonate as an ingredient,
along with an acidifying agent (cream of tartar for example) and drying
agent (such as starch). Baking powder lasts around a year and half.
Sure, we listed 37 essential food items for your Prepper's Pantry, but the list could
easily continue on non-food related essentials. For example, extra can openers,
firewood, charcoal, lighter fuel, candles, paper plates, plastic utensils and disposable
cups. Finally, remember the tampons! Any real survival man will tell you that a fluffed
up unused tampon is a good emergency tinder source to have around, so come on
baby, light my fire!
But while we're still on the topic of essential foods to stock, consider this.... If you're
lucky enough to have a root cellar, then you can stock fresh apples, potatoes, onions
and garlic to last you several months, but remember, never store them in plastic bags
or in the refrigerator. They must be stored in a cool dark, and well ventilated space,
and away from pests, which is not easy to do.
Finally, know that it's okay to stock up on junk food. Did you know that Cheetos and
Pringles can get a fire going? The content of much of the processed foods you buy has
the perfect combination of air and fats to make fire. Who knew that your everyday food
storage of junk foods would come in so handy in a disaster?
So there you have it: the 37 essential food items to stock. Now you are that much
more prepared. At HappyPreppers.com, we believe the happiest people on the planet
will be the ones who've prepared when the unthinkable occurs.
Are you a Happy Prepper?
What are the grocery store survival foods you plan on buying? We hope you've enjoyed this
preppers list of foods. Have an idea to add to the 37 vital food guide? Please visit often as
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Remember, our family survival system is free! Learn how to store food, water, fuel sources,
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Be sure to read also, 50 Survival tools you forgot to buy.
------------------------------------------------- Revised 4/22/14
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