When prepping for WTSHTF, many times we focus on how much dehydrated food
we have stored. While dehydrated foods can have a very important part in our
plans, we have to remember
that almost all that food needs water. Water you may not have accounted for in your plans. The following quantity figures were taken straight from the Walton Feed web site, a very popular source of dehydrated foods.
Feeding a family of four
Pancakes = 2.5 cups water
Milk = 1 quart water
margarine = 4 Tbsp water
egg mix = 3 Tbsp water per egg (4 times)
Bread = varies
peanut butter powder = Tbsp water per Tbsp of peanut butter
jelly = none
orange drink = 1 quart water
Macaroni = at least 1 quart to boil
cheese blend = 1 cup
1 cup green beans = 1 cup water
fruit punch = 1 quart water
Brownie mix = 3/4 cup water
No meats today.
this works out to about 1.5 gallons for one day.
Another quart of water each for drinking makes 2.5 gallons.
Another gallon minimum for cleaning makes 3.5 gallons.
Another gallon minimum for personal hygiene = 4.5 gallons.
We can see it would easily reach 5 gallons of water per day, minimum. This is pretty austere living as far as hygiene and cleaning goes. Even the amount of food is less than what most of us have become used to.
If you had to rely only on the 50 gallons in your hot water heater, you would have less than a 10 day supply. Remember, this is probably going to be the minimum you use per day! Many dehydrated foods will require more water than indicated here. If you have infants or toddlers, you can easily exceed the minimum of one gallon per day for hygiene. (Do you have someplace to clean those dirty diapers?) Ever try to tell your teenage daughter she can't wash her hair for a week?
Granted some of the above water could be reused. The water used to boil the macaroni could be used to clean up possibly or make fruit punch (hopefully it is strong flavored to mask
Regardless, there probably will be times during SHTF that water is at a premium. We have to be ready to eat with little or no additional water. We need to take a hard look at canned foods where they may allow us to use less water or have their own water included. Most canned vegetables, juices and meats fall into this category. I am not advocating eliminating them entirely from our dehydrated stores, but I am suggesting we cross-fill. Where possible, get both dehydrated and non-dehydrated.
If storage space is an issue, perhaps something like a wall mounted dispensing system from www.pharaohsstorehouse.com is the answer for you. This also allows for automatic rotation
Other factors to include are that if you have neighbors family or friends you end up helping, they are going to need water for any dehydrated foods you give them. Do they have anything stored up? Have they already used up all the water in their hot water heater? If you give someone a cup of dehydrated peanut butter in a baggie, then they will immediately know that you have more. If you give them a small typical grocery store packaged bottle of peanut butter, then they just might think its your next to last one. Better to seem just barely better-off than to appear well-off.
This entire discussion can go for pages, and that is not my intent here. My purpose is to get you thinking outside the box. When you think about SHTF, try to think about all of the things that you will need and how they are connected.