Survival Food Storage - the Plastic Bottle




Introduction: Survival Food Storage - the Plastic Bottle

About: I am a Biologist by training, a zombie prepper in my spare time. Plus, I like to be outdoors.

Simple. Easy. Effective.

Why a plastic bottle? Big deal, it's food in a bottle. Here is why this is important!

True Story: I prepare for hurricane season every year. One year, my hurricane storage box flooded due to a leak in one of my gallons of water. What I found many weeks later, was a nice fermented soup of rice, beans and other dry goods. MMMMMM MMMMMMM Good!

So, a few things this simple idea does:

-Keeps food dry.

-Keeps insects out.

-Easy to carry if on the move from zombies.

-Easy to measure.

-Can be hidden (buried) for later.

-Dual purpose measuring cup and storage

Step 1: Collect Materials


  • Marker
  • Measuring cup
  • Bottle w/lid
  • Dry goods

There are many different types of bottles you can use, choose one based on the size needed and how it will fit into your storage or pack. The "square" Fiji bottles stack quite nicely if space is an issue.

Step 2: Measure and Add

If you require super accurate measurements, use water to mark off each bottle at the 1 cup line. Fill and mark you bottle at 1 cup intervals to the top. This will allow you to measure out your dry goods by what you need AND when empty, the bottle can also measure other goods or water.

If you are not looking for uber accurate, just use your measuring cup to measure out your dry goods at 1 cup intervals.

Step 3: How to Cook

Now that your goods are in the nice dry and safe container, you will need to know how to cook it later on. I hope you didn't toss the bag it came in, because you can simply tape the product information to the bottle.

Alternatively, you can simply write the ratio of goods-to-water on the side.

And there you have it, a dual purpose measuring cup and dry goods storage. So as you crawl through the swamp with mutated gophers chasing you, rest assured your food is dry.



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    59 Discussions

    this is a great idea, you can also use plastic peanut butter jars, or other condiment containers when empty, just remove the paper from them, wash out with warm soapy water rinse, and let dry. or mark the 1 cup intervals with water, then let them dry or dry them with a dish towel. and your dry goods and your done. love this idea

    I dig it.

    My Grandfather grew up during the Great Depression in Florida and did essentially the same thing with empty 1gal milk jugs. He'd keep a rotating stock of dried beans, rice, grains, and other goods as well as canned items to cover him and my Grandmother for a year or take care of the whole family in an emergency for a few months.

    He wasn't a survivalist or a "prepper." Having lived through extreme economic hardships, the Pacific in WWII, and raising a family, he knew the value of repurposing everyday items and being prepared for the worst of times while still enjoying the best.

    CAUTION!!!! DO NOT STORE BROWN RICE!!! as it WILL go rancid in a very short amount of time about a year is the limit on brown rice. White rice will keep if not exposed to air for 25 - 30 years.

    3 replies

    Because, my friends, white rice has very little nutritional value. I think this idea would be great to have several months worth of food and to constantly use and replenish it.

    This instructable just came up again. I think it is worth mentioning that white rice has a lot of nutritional value. The fiber is gone, yes, but to say white rice has very little nutritional value is simply false. In a survival situation you will need protien and carbohydrates. White rice has both in spades. You will need to supplement to get your vitamins but due to the fact that you can store white rice for 30-40 years if done correctly and it is packed with carbs and protein it makes an excellent survival food for you hurricane box.

    Yeah, Lots of carbs and not too bad protein.

    Its been a year and its still fine. By keeping it dry and low oxygen (if you put in the absorbents) dry goods can last for quite some time. I don't know the full shelf life as I usually rotate yearly or bi-yearly.

    I use 2 liter bottles with the addition of a small oxygen absorber for long term storage.

    Works great.

    Mason jars wrapped with cheap cut up mouse pads. Glass is impermeable, does not off gas, the mouse pads are made of neoprene which will cushion & protect the glass, block out light & heat. The mouse pads can be rubber banded or glued to the jars. Just a thought.

    In some of the cases they sell buckwheat, rice and other grains with moth larvae! In normal life you'd just throw such food out, but if you're surviving in hurricane that's bad. So, in order to protect the stored food some people suggest adding some salt on top of the bottle, just under the cap.

    My understanding is that plastic is gas permeable, and that is what lets in long term destruction. I believe mylar is the way to go if you want longer term packaging. Buy mylar bags, include oxygen absorbers and seal with a home iron over a ridged metal doorway threshhold (makes multi seals). But as stated, you have to use all the contents at once when opened.

    House Light & Sun Light can cause all sorts of problems with your Stored Foods. Did you Know that UV light is Good for Killing off Germs found in Stored Foods or that bottle of Wheat or Oat Flour Can appear Fine one day & left in the sunlight, The next day could be full of Freshly hatched Bugs ?!

    In Other words, spend some time & Spray Paint or glue Paper over the bottle to keep the sunlight out.

    2 replies

    I have heard that adding bay leaves to your flour stash will keep the weevils away. I tried doing that -- left one flour bag (inside a metal container) with no Bay leaves -- placed Bay Leaves into a second bag of flour (in a similar metal container). Bag 1 ended up with weevils -- bag 2 (with the Bay Leaves) -- none.

    Weevils and moths have plagued me all my days. When you bring home your flour or grain, put them in the freezer for a week and all the insect eggs that are in them will be killed. Your grains/flour are now fairly safe... unless the dreaded things manage to lay while it is in your home !!!!

    What about displacing Oxygen with Carbon Dioxide gas, just shooting some in there? If plastic is not a true vapor lock, probably better to get clear beer or soda bottles and a capper.

    3 replies

    I read an interesting idea in another instructable... drop a small piece of dry ice in whatever container, and when it sublimates back to a gas it will displace the other gasses.

    Just make sure you don't seal it back up before the dry ice sublimates completely, or you'll likely have beans all over the place, and possibly lose an eye or two!