Be Prepared Challenge – Acquire #2 – Stockpile

Ready for the next part of the challenge.  Bec has been running wild over at her blog this week with the Aquire part of the challenge.  Check out her posts for the week.

Acquire – Step One (Task 1 – Consider what you will need)
Acquire – Step Two (Task 2 – Set up your Storage area, Task 3 – Gather & Make an Inventory of What you Have)
Acquire – Step Three (Task 4 – Gather Items for Stay at Home supplies)
Acquire – Step Four (Task 5 – Put together Emergency Kits for Evacuation)

and my post for the week Acquire #1 (Task 1 – Inventory).

So far, so good I hope.  The next task is to begin to stockpile.  Bec has already covered off the basics non-food items to collect in step 3, so I won’t repeat it.  However, what sort of food would you need for a short crisis?  Will you have enough for a month, preferably at least 10 weeks?  Where do I start I hear you asking?  Well, there are many lists out there and here are a few good references that I have referred to in the past.

  • Julie at Towards Sustainability wrote “What’s in my Stockpile” (a great list)
  • Australia’s Emergency Pantry List has an Interactive Pantry List that you can fill in.
  • Rhonda at Down to Earth wrote “Saving money with a stockpile“, which was the first time I encountered the concept. 
  • University of Sydney’s site called “Food Lifeboat“, has a very good list that details how much food is required each day, and a shopping list to help you prepare for 10 weeks.

All very informative lists and all of them should give you some ideas.

Start off with a few items you don’t have, especially if you are strapped for cash.  Each week buy a little extra once you have figured out what you need.  You will soon find that you will have a substantial stockpile ready for use and any crisis that I hope does not eventuate.  It doesn’t have to be expensive when you stockpile because good bought in bulk are often discounted.  Just do your own sums when you go shopping.  If you have a bulk food co-op close by, then that is the ideal place to start.

So what do I stockpile?  Well the list is long, so how about I just show you via photos instead!  Just remember to click to enlarge.

This is our main stockpile cupboard.  Shelf two has cleaning and personal hygiene products.  Shelf 3 has cereals,  tinned food like tuna, potatoes, beans, corn, baked beans, spaghetti, coconut milk, chickpeas and a few other.  Shelf four has flour, sugar, sauces, pastes, UHT milk.  The floor has rices, toilet rolls, and non-stockpile items.  Have a closer look below.

Turn a full 180 degrees on the spot and you see the pantry cupboard, which also hold lots of stockpiled goods.

Home brew beer, cordials and vinegar

Onion, oils and a kite (never know when you are going to need to fly a kite to release some stress)

Pasta and potatoes,

Preserved fruit and vegetables, and dried lentils.

Jams and honey,

Cooking needs,


Don’t forget the wine.  I always have a few on hand.

Nice and neat, so you can see at a glance what you have.

All the stuff in cans are ready to eat if you cannot heat them.   Don’t forget to keep a couple of can openers at hand!

And finally, don’t forget some protein.  If you eat meat, then get some canned as it last longer and you are not reliant on the fridge/freezer if the power goes out.  If you are a veggie, then you will have lots of beans, and dried pulses on hand.

Now one thing I haven’t shown you is the stock feed for the chickens.  If you have animals don’t forget them in the scheme of things.  I have two spare 20kg bags of feed the shed for the chooks, so we are kept in fresh eggs in-case of emergency.  If worst comes to worst, I would let them forage around to find lots of bugs and weeds.  Don’t forget your dogs and cats food as well.

As stockpiling is a personal choice, I am not going to give you a list to follow.  Everybody’s diet is different, so the great thing is that you get to choose what you want.  Go for it, and remember that Rome was not built in a day.  Our stockpile took about a year to collect, but simple to maintain once you have all your needs.  Maintenance or Restock & Rotate is a post for next week.

I hope you have fun.


  1. says

    Anonymous, I see it this way, if you don’t store some sort of long life food, if an emergency happens, what are you going to eat? Is it not better to have some tinned beans/ legumes, dried pasta and the odd tin of tomatoes, than starve? In cases where people only eat fresh food (and more power to you for that!) I think the thing to do would be buy some very long life foods, don’t eat them unless you are forced too, and if they are nearing a Use By date, compost or donate them. Or grow & preserve your own is another option! You could also eat alot of sprouts, and yoghurt during an emergency! Good luck, hope you find some middle ground…

  2. Anonymous says

    I have a problem when it comes to stockpiling that I have yet to resolve. The idea is to buy what you eat and to use part of your stockpile and replace it with a new version of the same product.

    My problem is that I don’t eat long stored foods. I don’t buy or eat anything in cans, or packets, or pasta, or flour. I only eat fresh veg, meat, eggs, butter for over 90% of my food intake.

    So stockpiling is difficult when it comes to food as I really don’t like to eat tinned or processed foods.

  3. says

    Heya Gavin. Getting there slowly. Thanks to both you guys for your psots on this. It helped along my little things I’d already done and got me on a more long term track… which funnily enough sits perfectly alongside my life long term track so that’s quite nice!

    I bought the book ‘When Technology Fails’ by Matthew Stein. It’s pretty comprehensive and universal in so many ways – whether you’re in Au or US, starting a fire is starting a fire. I’m also trying to improve my bush foods knowledge locally and areas we travel to, and if not first-hand and by being shown, then by book. If you have a ‘recommended book list’ you could just keep adding too, that’d be great. :)

    We just all gotta keep plugging away eh. Thanks Gavin.

  4. says

    Is there any chance that you and Dixiebelle can move in with me? Lets say forever. If not, any chance of you guys been able to put all of your info together into one booklet. Just for us hopeless cases 😉

    On a serious note, you guys are doing a bloody brilliant job.

  5. says

    Hi Gavin,
    I’m enjoying this stockpile / be prepared series, most of which we already have on hand with rural living anyway. I know you’re probably not in an earthquake zone but in light of recent earthquakes here in NZ I would advise storing anything in glass at floor level. Many here had stuff on hand that was in glass and no use after it had smashed on the floor. The only other thing I’d add is keep a torch by your bed – a lot of the minor injuries in the Christchurch earthquake occurred when people stepped out of bed in the dark and onto piles of broken glass to go get their torches stored in emergency kits elsewhere in the house.

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