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-   -   non-climate controlled food storage options? (https://forums.1911forum.com/showthread.php?t=989332)

steviesterno 04-14-2019 12:22 PM

non-climate controlled food storage options?
I have slowly but surely gotten the wife on board with a bit more prepping stuff. She agrees we need more food on hand, and I think #10 cans would be a good way to go about it. However, we have a full house. It's older so few closets. Slab so no basement/crawl space. We have 2 little kids so as you can imagine, their **** is everywhere.

So I have options with sheds, the garage, and the attic. The problem is we live in DFW and my storage areas are not climate controlled. Summer will see 90+ days where it never gets below 80* and gets into 110 occasionally. The attic will get way hotter than that.

I'm curious if there are things I can store that are going to be OK with this kind of high temperature. I know that it will limit time length of storage, but all I'm able to keep outside the freezer currently is 2 months worth of freeze dried emergency stuff. I would rather "real" food if at all possible. I have water storage and a rain barrel system that cycles water so I'm not overly worried about that currently.

Suggestions? A Climate controlled storage unit would be prohibitively expensive. Now that I have a 3 year old and 4 month old I don't think bugging out is even close to a viable option unless the house burns down.

I did just get approval to move some stuff out of the pantry into the garage, so i have freed up a little room but could always use more.

USMM guy 04-14-2019 01:43 PM

That is going to be a tough nut to crack.
At least you have one thing going for you. This being that you do not have to worry about freezing temperatures, which would rule out a lot of things. You can store a lot of stuff that can handle reasonably high temperatures for a while. But keep in mind that these same high temperatures will decrease your shelf life considerably. I would go with more dry stores in the form of grain based products, cereals, pasta, rice and so fourth. They will last longer than canned meat and such with a lot of oils like peanut butter that will go rancid fairly quickly stored in high temperatures. Rice is a great thing to store, but get white rice as it has less oils and will stay good longer than brown rice.

Canned fruit will hold up reasonably well, but not as well as in a cooler environment. Honey holds up well, which is something that a lot of people overlook that has a lot of nutritional value.

Also I would get a few cases of Datrex survival rations to put back. They have a very high food value and are good for five years. If you ever go on a passenger ship. This is what you will find kept in the lifeboats. And those lifeboats get very hot closed up in tropical sun for months and years at a time. Over the course of my career we changed them out after five years and they are fine. They are also quite compact for storage. Powdered milk stores pretty well in high temperatures, good for kids. Sardines do fairly well also.

You can check out the Datrex stuff here.

Be wary of #10 cans though. Unless you are prepared to consume the entire contents of one in fairly short order. You will have to be able to refrigerate the rest of it.


steviesterno 04-14-2019 02:09 PM


Originally Posted by USMM guy (Post 12800352)

I just checked into that website. Seems like good stuff, but it looks like a pressed piece of garbage. are they really edible/decent?

USMM guy 04-14-2019 03:26 PM

Yes they look kind of funky.

Originally Posted by steviesterno (Post 12800370)
I just checked into that website. Seems like good stuff, but it looks like a pressed piece of garbage. are they really edible/decent?

But they are not really that bad. Kind of like a sort of dry brownie, with some coconut mixed in. They are actually a very high energy survival food. And they are formulated so as not to induce thirst. If you like just get one packet and try them out. I think that they are an excellent resource.

scubadad 04-14-2019 07:55 PM

Stack the cans on the floor of the closet then put a piece of plywood on top. You loose a little height but keep your floor space.

John Joseph 04-14-2019 09:13 PM

With children, you need to think about their dietary needs as well as your own.

steviesterno 04-15-2019 11:57 AM


Originally Posted by John Joseph (Post 12800680)
With children, you need to think about their dietary needs as well as your own.

right. the 3 year old eats similar to us adults and the baby is still breast fed, so that's helpful at least.

USMM guy 04-15-2019 12:49 PM

Thinking of children, and adults.

Originally Posted by John Joseph (Post 12800680)
With children, you need to think about their dietary needs as well as your own.

I keep a couple of cases of Carnation instant breakfast put back. Not an issue for me, but it should store well in fairly high temperatures. With it and powdered milk you have a pretty nutritious small meal. Your kid will like it as it is like a chocolate milkshake, try some.

combat auto 04-16-2019 05:59 AM

I would think anything in a can will hold up pretty well...They do expire though, I rotate my food cache every 3 years I let the can's go a few months after they expire, it is a discipline (or re-frame and call it a "hobby", makes it more fun ;-))...You can also use the can's week by week and replace them as you go, especially if money is an issue. I found that to be a problem keeping track of everything every week, so I spend a few months on it every few years.

Start by deciding how many day's you want to plan for. It would be nice to have more but of course we have different constraints. I store for 2 months eating "well". This should be enough for any really bad natural disaster.

The biggest challenge is fresh water. It takes up a lot of space and is heavy. This is why I rather have can food than dry food (although I have both types), dry food generally takes more water to reconstitute. But everything is a trade-off as dried is lighter, last's longer, etc.

There are a bunch of companies that specialize in this sort of thing, and even sell stuff which will last 20 years, I use their dried beef and things like that.

Andyk 04-16-2019 10:41 PM

How long will feral last in a food safe bucket if you put it plastic bags. And then the bucket. I'm talking about rice kripies and cornflakes type cereal.

USMM guy 04-17-2019 12:14 AM

Canned goods will hold up for a period of time.

Originally Posted by combat auto (Post 12801664)
I would think anything in a can will hold up pretty well...They do expire though, I rotate my food cache every 3 years I let the can's go a few months after they expire, it is a discipline (or re-frame and call it a "hobby", makes it more fun ;-)).

But elevated temperatures will reduce shelf life.

combat auto 04-17-2019 04:17 AM


Originally Posted by USMM guy (Post 12802396)
But elevated temperatures will reduce shelf life.

Agree, there is probably some basic equation one can find on-line the op can use to calculate how fast the degradation increases with temperature. Also, there is a lot of margin beyond the expiration date it seem's. These day, most can's have a "best by" date rather then an "expiration" date for this reason.

Just something to look at as an additional option along with all the options.

John Joseph 04-17-2019 09:48 PM

Is your house climate controlled?
I've found the back of my linen closet remained moderate year around and 110 in the summer here (outside) is a fact of life
I used to store my ammo back there until I married my bride.

557 04-18-2019 03:46 PM

Befriend a Mormon. They have the most experience with this. My dad once drywalled a house with can storage in the interior walls. Newly purchased (or self canned) cans went in a slot at the ceiling. Oldest cans out a slot near the floor. Obviously the plumbers and electricians were in on the deal, but you could probably figure out something similar on an existing building.

Seriously though, LDS folks were preppers before prepping was cool. All the ones I’ve known are also friendly and generous.

combat auto 04-19-2019 12:45 PM

Water in a can
You would have to call them to find out any issues with heat, but it looks like the real deal and supposedly the canned water fema, et el, use...I currently rotate 8 weeks of 2.5 gal plastic water bottles (which sometime spring leaks all on their own), I am going to try some of these cans, good for 50 years, so I don't have to rotate jack-squat.


TRX302 04-30-2019 10:44 AM


Originally Posted by 557 (Post 12803940)
Newly purchased (or self canned) cans went in a slot at the ceiling. Oldest cans out a slot near the floor.

Nifty idea!

For ordinary cabinets or closets, there are wire racks where you feed the new cans in the top and the oldest ones come out the bottom. I've seen ads for them going back to the 1940s, but availability seems to be cyclical. If you're into woodworking you can find plans on the web, though.

1911crazy 09-07-2019 07:20 AM

Those big blue containers from Walmart work good. Put them on shelves or stackem.
I keep can goods, pancake mixes, maple syrup, canned meats, butter.

John Joseph 09-09-2019 01:28 PM

Rent or own?
If you own, consider putting a fan in the attic to force the hot air out.
It will keep your attic a few degrees cooler not having hot air dammed up in there(or alternatively, in your garage.)
Also a strategically planted shade tree or three can also give your attic some extra relief, as well as a limb to hang a kid's swing from.
Another possibility is to dig an old timey root cellar---perfect for canned goods.

Plaidad 09-10-2019 08:19 PM

Boxes under the beds?

John Joseph 09-11-2019 10:39 AM


Originally Posted by Plaidad (Post 12936786)
Boxes under the beds?

For the win!

TRX302 09-11-2019 06:40 PM

A foot locker in the bottom of one or more closets would give a lot of lockable storage, plus it would raise shoes and other items up to a more convenient height.

I've seen pictures of people using transport lockers for coffee tables; a piece of glass or fake marble, and there you go.

You see large more-or-less cubical crates that could replace end tables or hassocks.

Whether it fits with your decor is your own decision, but it's space-effective and cheap.

sixtus 11-01-2019 08:00 AM

Im in the equatorial tropics, we prep here yearly for cyclones, hurricanes as you call them. Had three hit in the last 13 years. Temps here in summer 100+. Not that I usuallly need it but I usually like to have about 3 weeks of food additional to whats in the house, and its kept in a plastic pelican style cube case about 18" sides. We choose low water weight and high concentrate foods. That we if we need to bug out we aren't carrying an extra couple hundred lbs of water in the food.Same principles expeditioners go off, keeping water and food stuffs separate. High bulk, compact, more temperature resistant once opened.On expeditions people figure on about 2lbs high energy food a day. I figure for two rather more sedate people 3-3.5lbs per day for 21 days is fine. It wont be exciting eating, but it will keep you alive and moving. Our box is about 70lbs, rather heavy but we can manouvere it where we need it or into the vehicle. You could as easily store a box a bit wider and shorter under a bed or anywhere.


various dry Pasta, multi-year shelf life
White rice, multi-year shelf life. Brown goes rancid quicker. I was changing out white rice every two years as per some advice I got. But then a buddy opened up some 10 year stocks of rice and we cooked it up and it was fine! Fluke? not sure.

Flour, not sure on the shelf life, I usually cycle it back into use after a year and get new stuff.

Bulk Chocolate and bodybuilding energy bars, I think best by date I aim for about 12-18 months in the future.

Dried chickpeas, lentils and other such grains. Multi-year shelf life

Tortillas, this will depend what part of the world you are in,. I get ones that will last at least 6 months in the packet

Peanut butter, actually a favored expedition food, its one of the highest energy foods in existence.

Sugar, salt, spices, honey, multi-year to indefinite shelf life

Powdered milk, I usually cycle through it after a year, maybe it will last longer.

Jerky, will only last months here, I cycle through it 6 monthly or so.

Its all a lot cheaper than emergency rations and you don't feel bad cycling it into use or throwing it out. You can stock up on this at the local supermarket pretty easily.

OldRed 12-27-2019 01:19 AM

Airtight grain storage
It seems to me the best way to rotate your food stash is to eat it. Rice, barley and dry beans seem like winners to me. They inexpensive and store well. US farmers are getting 28 to 48 cents a pound for dry beans and 12 cents for rice. I don't know how hard hard it would be to by direct of the farm as both those crops are almost always gown under contract.

Grain and dry beans will keep a long time if they are stored in an air tight container with a low Oxygen atmosphere >1.5%*. Purging the grain with Nitrogen or CO2 over several days is used for commercial and on farm storage. If you do it small lots a vacuum pump would cut down on the amount of gas used and speed up the process to 15 minutes to half an hour.

If Oxygen is available seeds will metabolize it and weevil and worms will grow and eat the grain in proportion to the amount of Oxygen, moisture and temperature. Grain below 12% moisture stores at almost any temperature. Grain Harvested at 0 F will keep until the next summer if put in a double wall wood bin in wooden barn. In air tight storage grain will make its own reduced Oxygen atmosphere by making CO2 from the carbon in the grain and Oxygen in the air.

While keeping grain = cold is better than keeping it hot if it is stored in a very low Oxygen Air tight the grain's metabolism stops.

You can out a heat exchanger on your cold water line and cool a small well insulated space if your using well water. Lake water will not be cool enough to make any difference. Then there are places like Frisco where the well water is over 90 F.

* The use of controlled atmospheres for the storage of grain

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