Most modern cooking methods like air fryers or electric stoves rely on electricity.

But when SHTF, you’ll need cooking methods that can run even if the power goes out. Below are nine stealthy cooking methods that you can try after disaster strikes. (h/t to

These cooking methods will prove useful whether you’re bugging in at home because of a long-term power outage or bugging out after SHTF.

While cooking on an outdoor barbecue grill may not seem that dangerous now, using one in a post-SHTF world may attract hungry neighbors or looters who may attempt to take your supplies in their desperation.

Gas oven

If your home kitchen doesn’t include a gas oven, invest in one and replace electric stoves. This ensures that when the power goes out, you can still cook indoors and serve warm meals.

A natural gas oven can run on reserves for at least three to six months.

Natural gas service isn’t always available in out-of-town rural areas. If this is the case where you live or you prefer having a backup plan before SHTF, have a gas range unit installed at home. (Related: Prepping tips: How to survive a long-term power outage.)

Purchase a propane gas tank and stock up on extras so you can use the gas range during a survival scenario.

Fireplace, wood stove, or wood-burning stove

With a fireplace or wood stove, you can stay warm in winter and cook indoors.

However, rural preppers will have an advantage over preppers in the city since they have easy access to fuel for their fireplace or wood-burning stove. If you live in the city, it may be difficult to stock up on firewood, unless you pay for it and have it delivered.

Solar-powered generator

With a solar generator, you can cook indoors. Even if you only have a small solar generator, you’ll have enough power to use conventional cooking methods indoors or on your back porch and away from prying eyes.

Solar-powered generators are preferable because they’re more quiet compared to diesel, gasoline, or kerosene-powered generators. They also don’t require a stockpile of fuel to operate.

The downside of using a solar generator is it’s subject to weather, especially on cloudy days or in cold weather. A solar generator will provide you with enough power to run an air fryer, crockpot, hot plate, roaster oven, or toaster oven.

Solar oven

A solar oven is an unusual-looking contraption but it’s a stealthy cooking method that suits preppers who live in warm climates. The oven includes an enclosed box with reflective panels, although some ovens don’t have reflective panels.

The average cooking time for most foods typically prepared in a regular kitchen oven is 250 to 350 F and most solar ovens can reach a temperature of 400 F.

While it may take longer to cook food using a solar oven, the glass or plexiglass top cover will help stop the smell of cooking food from spreading. A solar oven can be used to bake, broil, or roast most foods that you can cook in a conventional oven or on a charcoal grill.

You can still use a solar oven during fall and winter, but it may take a lot longer to reach the right temperature.

Freeze-dried meals

Freeze-dried meals from survival supply vendors are one of the best ways to prepare hot food without emitting smoke or odors. These meals are “cooked” by pouring hot water into the pouch.

Heat water stealthily using a camping-style solar shower bag or solar oven.

Thermal cooker

Thermal cookers require an external heat source, such as a small portable rocket stove that can heat a kettle for boiling water or a Dakota fire pit.

A thermal cooker is similar to a crockpot, but it’s cordless and non-electric. This cooking method doesn’t require constant electricity because it uses vacuum insulation to trap heat from the inner pot of the thermal cooker. The cooking process is completed without any gas or electricity.

Thermal cooking produces flavorful meals by slow cooking with trapped heat in an insulated cooker. The cooking method also prevents ingredients from burning and ensures that meat and vegetables retain their original shape and color.

It will take about 10 minutes for water or other liquids placed inside the pot to hit the boiling point. Once the liquid inside has boiled, the other ingredients added to the pot will cook for up to eight hours, all without making any noise or drawing any attention to the food.

Camp stove or oven

With a small portable propane-powered camping stove or camping oven, you can easily cook what you would usually prep in a conventional kitchen range without making any noise or emitting any smoke.

Never use a camping stove indoors for safety reasons. However, you can use it on a porch close to your house door or inside your garage with a window or exterior door cracked open for proper ventilation.

Dakota fire method

If you want to cook food stealthily, you should avoid outdoor cooking at all costs unless you are bugging out and have to build a fire for warmth or water purification.

A Dakota fire hole or Dakota fire pit will produce heat with very little fire and smoke. An outdoor fire like this will quickly generate enough heat to boil water or cook food.

To minimize the amount of work you need to put into digging the fire hole, select a site without a lot of rocks or roots. Don’t choose an area where the water table is very close to the surface. It’s best to dig in dry, compact soil.

Dig a hole that’s 12 to 16 inches deep into the ground and is wide enough to accommodate a small fire teepee. Dig a sloping tunnel connecting the base of the pit to the surface. Once you build a fire in the hole, it will heat the air around it.

When the hot air rises out of the hole it creates a weak vacuum, drawing more cool air through the sloping tunnel. This feedback loop helps build an extremely hot fire very quickly.

Cooking bags or aluminum foil

If you’re using a traditional campfire or a Dakota fire hole, you can prepare food in aluminum foil or cooking bags (boilable bags) to help reduce the cooking smell. Wrap food in several layers of foil or use a cooking bag before putting it on a cooking grate or in a cast iron pot to prepare it.

Each option in this list has pros and cons, so choose wisely before SHTF. Options like a gas stove are best for bugging in while a Dakota fire pit is perfect if you decide to bug out.

Find stealthy ways to cook before disaster strikes so you can keep your family warm and well-fed while also keeping your survival supplies safe.

This content was originally published here.

by Just In Case Jack | Last Updated: June 23, 2015

Survival CoalitionLet’s assume that you have decided not to bug out, you have decided to stay home, using your house as a base of survival.

Not every survival scenario ends with you living in a tent or shelter made of branches.

In a post-apocalyptic (or at the least post-large scale disaster) world people will be fighting for survival, for food, for water, for security.

Let’s assume you have a plan for this

In many cases, your best chances of survival are on turf on which you are familiar – home field advantage and all that.

There are two problems with this that must be addressed, preferably before disaster strikes

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So What’s Wrong With Self-Sufficiency?

Just because you are living in your home does not mean you can just lock the front door and go to sleep.

If the nature of the disaster is such that food and resources become scarce, you can bet there are bad guys out there who have not prepared as you have.

Don’t let the fact they haven’t stockpiled fool you into believing they haven’t prepped. For some of the more ruthless of our brothers, prepping simply means firepower and the will to use it.

These guys figure why waste time and money stockpiling food or gear when they can just take what they need from someone who has it.

This is a valid argument on their part. It is damn near Darwinian.

The lion doesn’t think twice about running the cheetah off from a kill.

The ruthless man who is willing to exert his ruthlessness can generally get what he needs. This factor multiplies if you are talking about many ruthless people working together.

The police won’t be there to stop them, and if they leave no witnesses, no one can testify later should civilization reemerge.

You simply can’t provide 24 hours a day security for your family – and can you really count on your wife or ten-year-old on the roof with the deer rifle to cover the hours you have to sleep?

To make matters worse, surviving will require more of you than just standing guard. You need allies to share this responsibility.

This is where neighbors may come into play…your makeshift survival coalition for those who plan to stay.

I listed two problems above, the second of which was neighbors.

Just like in normal times, they can be both an asset and a liability – in some cases a hindrance.

A responsible, dependable, skilled, friendly neighbor with high moral standards can be a powerful asset, just as a weak, unreliable, unskilled, unmotivated waste of DNA can be a liability.

Neighborhoods can come together to forge alliances for mutual protection and support, but only if the right people are involved. The wrong people can lead to mutual destruction.

You need to know which of these people live around you.

How Do You Form A Neighborhood Survival Coalition?

You start now.

You can’t wait until disaster strikes. That would be rolling the dice with your family’s fate.

You need to know now who you are dealing with and begin laying the foundations for a future survival coalition – for now, let’s just call them friendships.

You don’t want to come across as the nutjob extremist in the cul-de-sac, which you are not. You are just a rational person forging relationships for mutual interests.

Best case scenario the efforts will just yield friends who will help you swap out an engine in your truck or buddies you can go fishing with on weekends.

Nothing wrong with a few more friends.

So put yourself out there if you haven’t already. Introduce yourself and your family to your neighbors, invite them over, have a block party, swap home improvement help…whatever.

One evening on the street bar-b-cueing and drinking beer, and you’ll know exactly with whom you are dealing.

Sometimes you can tell whom you are dealing with just by their handshake. For most people, you can usually tell if someone is an asshole or a patsy in the first five minutes.

Within an hour, you’ll have a pretty good understanding of who these people are and if they are reliable human beings or just oxygen thieves.

As you get to know these people you may steer the conversation toward things like camping, hunting, fishing, firearms, martial arts, etc.

People love to talk about their hobbies. It’s a completely natural thing that will tell you volumes about these people.

Now you don’t have to be friends with all these people. Truth be told, that might even be a mistake.

There may be a few you will want to keep a healthy distance from. They may prove to be the ruthless guys not looking to cooperate.

That being said, don’t immediately disqualify the ruthless guy from your survival coalition.

In fact, the ruthless guy who is willing to cooperate and has a modicum of morality and dependability can be a great addition to your team.

So now you know the good from the bad, the wheat from the chaff, the cream from the milk. Although you may be forging friendships with the wheat – don’t piss off the chaff.

Keep on friendly terms with everyone in your neighborhood, if possible. That asshole may change his colors when TSHTF.

So does this mean you have to spill the beans to your new friends that you are building an end-of-the-world security force?

No. Bad idea.

No matter how you do it, you won’t sound rational to the average neighbor – and in order to be taken seriously later, you have to be thought of as rational today.

Just keep a mental list of your prospective survival coalition team and the skills, tools, equipment, and vehicles they possess.

File it away in the back of your mind for future use and enjoy your new friendships.

So what if the seeds of disaster are starting to sprout? There are disaster scenarios where the general public can see the event coming (like an economic collapse) – sometimes for weeks or months before it arrives.

In these cases, keep current on the news and ensure your friends in the neighborhood are current as well.

Encourage talk amongst yourselves about what’s coming.

You may be surprised when your friends start talking about making plans to deal with the coming disaster.

Work the mutual protection concept into conversation slowly and put your friends at ease with the notion you’ll all take care of each other.

So do you tell your new found survival coalition about your stockpile of food?

Remember the number one rule for both bunkers and stockpiles? “Don’t talk about your bunker or stockpile?”

Well, this is still a good rule, but as the time of the disaster approaches you will have to share this information at some point – that is if you want mutual protection.

Still, be wary about with whom you share it. Some neighbors not quite in the group, but on the cusp of acceptance, may be left in the dark for a while until you can ascertain their true intentions – it’s a judgment call – like most things in survival.

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This Brings Me To Adding Millennials To Your Survival Coalition

These young adults are very different than those of us reared back in the Twentieth.

On the surface, some of these young people may not seem to possess skills useful to survival, but on the other hand, many of these kids are really, really smart and may just prove incredibly adaptable under adverse conditions.

They are an untested hypothesis – an unknown quantity.

It may serve you well to welcome them to your group if they possess the right personality, rather than the right skillset.

On the other hand, if they seem worthless and completely lost without a cell phone in their hand – they just might be.

Another judgment call.

There are those weak souls out there, often Liberal types, who just don’t seem to have a self-preservation instinct.

They oppose firearms, national defense, corporations, national borders and mandatory sentencing for violent criminals.

They are very trusting souls when it comes to people they really should not trust.

These types are more concerned about their environmental impact than they are about staying alive -but maybe that’s because staying alive has never been in doubt until disaster strikes.

These people could be a terrible hindrance to your efforts.  Don’t give these people critical jobs or place too much trust in them. They don’t see the world as it really is.

Given time, the Nature they want to protect will eat them up and shit them out. In the meantime, you may have to deal with them.

Building your survival coalition, like friendships, takes a little work, but it absolutely necessary to the long-term security of you and your family.

Better to find out now which neighbors can help and which can hurt your chances of survival.

Come together and survive.

Remember: Prepare, Adapt and Overcome,
“Just In Case” Jack

P.s. Do you know where the closest nuclear bunker is from your home?

There are a lot of natural nuclear shelters in the US that are absolutely free. And one of them is near your home.

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by Just In Case Jack | Last Updated: September 1, 2015

SHTF CommunicationsDo You Know What Your SHTF Communication Options Are?

Preparing for SHTF means more than just stockpiling food.

It’s more than just storing water.

It also includes good SHTF communications.

Being able to send and receive critical news and knowledge about what’s going.

Even if you are literally “in the dark” it doesn’t mean your SHTF communications have to be.

Having a guaranteed way of communicating with others in the worst of times is an essential prepper responsibility.

However, there is not just one single method for SHTF communications.  There are actually several options to consider.

Some better than others so let’s get started.

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Let’s Start With Cell Phones

Almost everybody today has a cell phone that can make calls and send text messages. And they are the best option for limited event emergencies.

If you get in a car wreck, a cell phone works quickly to call for help. If someone is having a heart attack a cell phone can get medical professionals notified immediately.

Yet, they are just about the worst option for anything larger in scope. Anybody who has been in a mass disaster situation can attest to the frustration of trying to make a cell phone call. They probably discovered that the network they are so used to using is completely overloaded and jammed. No outgoing calls, no incoming calls. Nothing.

Even at non-emergency events, such as popular at college football games, you’ll notice jammed cell phone networks locally.

This is especially true since nearly all college-aged adults are heavy users of cell phones, these types of cell phone network jam.

And with the proliferation of smartphones, these local network jam ups are likely to get worse and more frequent in the future.

A network jam is a common problem and is the cell phone’s Achilles heel. Making it the absolute worst communication option for SHTF.

Hell, even smoke signals will be more reliable than cell phones when SHTF.

The one saving grace for cell phones is the text messaging option. When a mass emergency occurs and cell towers are jammed, try using text.

The use of text messaging has proven to be slightly less affected by an emergency situation.

During Hurricane Katrina, text messaging (while not instant) did continue to get through.  So hey, it’s worth a shot.

And with cell phones in rural areas of our country, you have to deal with weak cell phone signals.

Sure, you can get a cell phone signal booster but those only work if there’s a signal to boost – not a guarantee in a widespread emergency.

So never make a cell phone your only survival communications option.

What about Hand Held Walkie Talkies?

Walkie-talkies, also known as GMRS/FRS radios, are great for short-range SHTF communications. They work best for a small individual group like your survival coalition.

They don’t work for mass communication or long-range communications.

It’s an ideal option for a family wanting to stay in contact as they move around a small property or local area.

Just be aware, depending on the model and manufacturer you’ll get different ranges.

So make sure you test their range before you need them so you understand your walkie-talkies range limitations.

Most specified ranges are for flat open land areas.

Trees, hills, and buildings tend to diminish the overall range. So just keep this in mind if you choose walkie-talkies as your local SHTF communication device.

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Is Ham Radio Good For SHTF Communications?

Ham radio was one of the most popular communication devices over large distances in the middle of the 20th century.

However, as phone networks improved, the cost of long-distance and international calls grew cheaper. So the popularity of ham radio dwindled for the masses. But, ham survival radio perfect for survival purposes.

Ham radio networks are both reliable and can communicate over long distances.

They are also not dependent on cell phone towers.

The only real drawbacks to ham radio are the equipment costs and the training necessary to learn how to use it.

If you intend to broadcast (and not just listen) then you will need to get an official license.

To operate ham survival radio equipment legally, an operator must obtain a license.

This includes passing a test and paying a small fee.

However, a license is not required to purchase, own and just listen in. Which is extremely valuable in most survival SHTF communications scenarios.

And after SHTF all these rules and regulations won’t matter anyway.

Plus, getting a small setup and a license is easy. So don’t let it stop you from becoming a licensed operator.

Also, invest in upgrading your ham radio’s antenna so that you can transmit and receive signals over longer distances.

Getting intelligence reports from other States can prove very helpful when grid power is out across the nation due to an EMP attack.

Is CB Radio a Viable SHTF Communications Option?

Citizens Band radio was one of the most popular ways of keeping in contact with people in the 1970s and 80s.

However, this form of radio communication dropped in popularity in the late 20th century.

CB Radio advantages include the greater range vs walkie talkies. However, a CB radio is generally located in a single location within a property.

Within a built-up area, the use of CB radio could be affected by larger buildings and more interference.

Unlike ham radio operators, a CB operator doesn’t require a license or pass a test to take to the airwaves.

Should I Invest in Listen Only Devices?

One of the major problems when disaster strikes is the loss of power.

For all the devices discussed thus far, they all require electrical or battery power to operate. So you’ll need to figure out your backup power system to operate these for longer periods of time when SHTF.

That’s why I suggest you invest in a listen-only survival radio device.

Not only are they low cost, but you can also get one with a hand crank to be able to easily keep it powered. Just crank and listen. Simple.

These shortwave listen-only radios can provide an invaluable link to SHTF news.

It can help keep you up to date on the current situation for any major disaster.

Another listen-only option to consider is the use of a police scanner.

These allow you to obtain information that could be life-saving during an SHTF event.

This is a unique option as important news will be broadcast over analog police frequencies. But, many law organizations are moving to digital technologies.

So over time, this option will become less effective.

Also, note that a scanner must be programmed in advance.

You want to make sure you are tuned into the right channels to gain the right emergency news.

Your SHTF Communications Action Plan

You should make a plan for all 3: Listen, Local, and Long. These are the 3 communication levels you should strive for your SHTF communications. This means a 3 pronged approach.

1 – Listen Only

First, if you don’t already own a small portable hand crank survival radio, don’t you think it’s time?

It’s small and light-weight (), plus it doesn’t require batteries.

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Done? Good, you now have your electrical independent SHTF listen-only communication taken care of. Congrats.

2 – Local Communication

Second is local communication. If you have a local survival coalition (and you should) then you need every member to have a walkie-talkie.

Now your coalition just got 10 times stronger as you can communicate so much better and faster when SHTF.

3 – Long Range Communication

Finally, you should investigate owning and operating a ham radio.

Here’s a good one to get you started and here’s a website to learn more about getting a license.

For a true SHTF event, you’ll want to be able to reach out over longer distances to communicate with other survivalists and preppers.

Good SHTF communications is a difference-maker in survival.

The ability to listen, communicate locally, and over long distances is vital to your long-term survival success.

Don’t underestimate this advantage and don’t wait until its too late.

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Remember: Prepare, Adapt, and Overcome,
“Just In Case” Jack

P.s. Do you know where the closest nuclear bunker is from your home?

Click on the image above to find out where you need to take shelter.

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This content was originally published here.