Monday, May 14, 2012

Herb and Spice Kits for the Survivalist

After setting up my bug-out bag with essentials for survival, I began to think a little further.  Yes, I have dehydrated food ready to go and a few seasoned meal kits.  But in reality, my physical limitations would prevent me from striking out into the woods for very long. 

How would it be, I thought, if instead of hoofing it through the wilderness, I could evacuate with the car or motor home?  We have an old motor home that’s not too big, but is eminently better than a tent in freezing weather (a possibility any day of the year here in Wyoming).

There could well be situations in which we need to evacuate in which our home might be destroyed. (Think: hurricane, tornado, flooding, impending forest fires, civil unrest). Pound for pound, herbs and spices are the single-most expensive food item one buys.  Why leave them behind?

 Along with my basic bug-out kit, I began a modified plan, which would enable us to have a few of the comforts of home. I know that well seasoned food can really make a difference in one’s outlook on life. During times of high stress, this can be really important.

 I remembered my backpacking days centuries ago when my ex and I would disappear into the wilderness for a week or two at a time, and frankly, even the tastiest freeze-dried food got pretty old, pretty fast.

 After studying all my herb and spice bottles for a good half hour, I realized that in a grab-and-go situation I could never bring them along. What to do? I needed something that would be compact, have a secure lid, easy to access, and quick to grab.

I rummaged around in the house and dumped some things in a storage box on the bed.  I had just the perfect container!  It is a Sterilite box with a snap tight handled lid.  These boxes are designed for stacking. In fact, I had about ten of them with arts and crafts supplies stored in them.

 I got most of my bottles of herbs and spices into the box, but what about my grinders? No way could I fit them all into the same container.  Then I realized I needed two boxes. One for herbs and one for spices. 

Whenever possible, I always buy spices that are still whole and not powdered or ground. They will last substantially longer. I have a mortar and pestle plus an assortment of spice graters for grinding them as needed.

 Sometimes I use my Magic Bullet, which serves as a high speed grinder. It does a much better job with hard spice seeds than my food processor. However, in an emergency situation, don’t even THINK about carrying electric kitchen appliances! They are too heavy and bulky. Besides, there is the distinct possibility that you may not have access to electricity.

Now no matter what the situation, I know I’m ready to go.  This is one less worry I have to deal with.


  1. How clever, I am going to create a survival herb and spice kit now! You are right, I wouldn't want to take my Nutribullet (basically the same as Magic Bullet, I think) on the road with me, though I absolutely love it and use it every day.

    I would lighten my load though by vacuum sealing the lot after transferring them to airtight resealable plastic bags, that way I can fit more and I don't have to lug around the glass, which could break. What I will probably do is get my essentials from (where I get most of my organic herbs and spices from) and then vacuum seal it all up. If nothing happens in a year or so, I'll order a duplicate set and open up the previously sealed bag of what I have to rotate so I don't end up with old herbs & spices on the road in an emergency!

    Thanks for the idea, great blog! =)

  2. Oh wow thanks for the tip, what a great idea! I often wonder how to preserve herbs, and this is a great way to do it!!!! Thanks!
    Fresh herbs and spices kits

    1. I was pretty pleased with that setup, as spices and herbs are pretty expensive and I hated the thoughts of leaving them behind.

      Even today, I use those boxes. I keep it in a cabinet in the kitchen and frankly, it keeps them organized. Once I taught hubby that herbs are green leaves and stems and spices are seeds, even he managed to keep them in the right places.

      No more rummaging around, trying to find the seasoning we need!