Whenever I think of post-apocalyptic survival, I think of one of my all-time favorite modern-day survival movies: Goodbye World. This highly realistic film follows a group of friends and family that band together during a catastrophic breakdown of modern America.
In the beginning, the group is getting along just fine as they hunker down in the main character’s off-the-grid home that is prepped with a garden, chickens, medicine, and a generous food supply. However, it doesn’t take long for their ill-equipped neighbors to learn about their emergency stockpile and desperately make a move to violently raid their supplies.
The utterly feasible sequence of events in this movie shines a light on the importance of creating a hidden emergency food supply on the homestead. It’s easy to raid cupboards, freezers, and basements full of canned goods, but strangers will have no clue where to look for your emergency stash.
Check out these clever places to hide and store your food reserves so that in case desperate civilians do raid come to your stockpile, you’ve got plan B set in place.
1. In the Attic, Crawl Space, or Under the Stairs
No looter is going to pull down a ladder in order to search your attic for food. These spaces are out of the way, easy to organize, and convenient to access when you know of their existence.
Things to Consider: Attics and crawl spaces can become hot and humid so you don’t want to store food here that is temperature-dependent. Also, don’t overload the structure with too much weight otherwise you might experience a collapse.
Best Food for this Space: Stick some canned food like beans, tuna, corn, and soup in the attic or crawl space. Jugs of water are equally fit to be stored in crawl spaces and under the stairs, but avoid the attic because of their weight.
2. Nooks and Crannies around the House
Take that hollow lamp, those empty shoe boxes, and the hollow ottoman in the living room and stuff them with Mylar Bags! These food storage bags keep moisture, light, and air from affecting your food and significantly prolong the shelf life of your stash. Learn more about Mylar food storage here.
Things to Consider: Don’t skip the oxygen absorbers–these are the key to keeping your food fresh. Also, don’t forget to label each Mylar Bag with its contents, the date of packaging, and the estimated date of expiration.
Best Food for this Space: Grains, rice, and beans can reach a shelf life of up to 30 years in Mylar Bags! These bags are also quite malleable and will fit in oddly shaped spaces.
3. Empty Luggage
Storing survival rations in empty luggage is a double-win in that you can optimize space in your home and if you need to evacuate in a hurry, your food is all ready to go.
Best Food for this Space: Pack snacks and rations that come in cardboard boxes or plastic packaging such as oatmeal packets, granola bars, fruit roll ups, and spices like salt and sugar.
4. Underground Irrigation Pipes
Go to your local hardware store where you can purchase large irrigation pipes to install underground around your property. These pipes come with lids to secure an airtight seal perfect for preserving food.
Things to Consider: Irrigation pipes in the ground can keep food quite cool and keep light out of the storage space to prolong shelf life.
Best Food for this Space: Any food that goes in a Mylar Bag and doesn’t require rotating is ideal, as you won’t have casual access to these pipes. Mylar Bags with dried fruits, oats, and spices are best. Here, you can also store fats like protein-packed peanut butter or multipurpose oils like coconut oil in the airtight containers.
When fitting a semi-underground storage trunk in the earth, you’ll want to dig a hole that is deep enough to conceal its sides while leaving you access to its lid. The hole should match the approximate depth of the trunk. Then, you can cover the top of the lid with leaves, branches, or moss.
Things to Consider: The point of having a semi-buried food storage container is to allow you easy access to its contents in order to rotate food based on their shelf life.
Best Food for this Space: Canned food that is susceptible to light damage is best for this underground food storage. Canned jams, sauces, soups, and pickles with 1-3 year shelf lives will do well here.
6. 5-Gallon Buckets in the Garage or Shed
Store some unsuspecting 5-gallon buckets in the garage or work shed along with your rakes, brooms, and everyday work tools. When in search of food and rations, looters won’t show any interest in this area.
Things to Consider: Make sure you package the gallon buckets in a clean space, away from your tools and machines so that your food isn’t tainted! Label the bottom of the buckets with what food you’ve stored in the bucket and when. Throw some oxygen absorbers in there as well!
Best Food for this Space: You can have a total gourmet line-up waiting for you with gallon bucket food storage. Store pasta, sugar, rice, popcorn, beans and more in your buckets. You can dip into these food rations from time to time in order to keep the stash fresh, replacing what you’ve eaten with new products. Just stay away from high-fat food products that can dry out in this environment.
7. DIY Furniture Storage
Are you handy with a hammer and nails? Why not create your own desk with hollow legs or your own couch with a false bottom for concealed food storage? When you control the space, anything is possible in terms of hiding emergency food.
Things to Consider: Build furniture that you won’t have to move often or that isn’t heavily used. A chair in the foyer is used less than the chair at the kitchen table, and your daughter’s crib typically stays put.
Best Food for this Space: Go with snacks! Stuff some beef jerky, dried fruit, powdered drinks, and candy in these spaces. These snacks tend to be more flexible and thus, better candidates for unconventional spaces.
Note that it is crucial not only to have emergency provisions hidden in your home, but also around your property so that if you need to flee your house for whatever reason, there are stockpiles all around you.
Sure, going to great measures to hide and store your food might look a little…paranoid. But let’s be real, you’ve got good reason to be paranoid. The economy is shifty, our government is picking fights with unstable dictators that threaten the country with nukes, our cities are becoming increasingly crowded, and the list goes on.
So when the very likely scenario where sh*t does hit the fan occurs, you and your family won’t have to worry about food and instead, can focus on heavier aspects of survival.