Preppers: One item that will save your butt, and 5 reasons to get it.

Many of you preppers have some seriously awesome Bug out Bags, Shelter in place plans, and even modern tactical weapons. These things are essential, they help keep the prepper alive during immediate life threatening situations. When you look at the horizon of spending the rest of your life in a SHTF or Teotwawki situation some major problems can occur. The problem I want to talk about in this article is malnutrition or nutritional deficiencies.

During SHTF or Teotwawki the slow death will be the worst.

The problem will be malnutrition and the various debilitating effects thereof. The solution is simply to grab some multi vitamins from Amazon and put them in your Bug out Bag. Just getting meat every day will not satisfy all nutritional needs, humans also need vegetables and plant material. I want to scare the hell out of you for now, so keep reading for the 5 reasons you need vitamins in your bag.

 I want to scare the hell out of you. Seriously

 Reason #1: Scurvy (not joking)

Scurvy might be the last think on a preppers mind. It is entirely possible to keep scurvy at bay with normal garden fruits and peppers. According to the Wikipedia entry for scurvy Chili peppers, bell peppers, citrus fruit, and Cruciferous Vegetables ( cauliflower, cabbage, cress, bok choy, broccoli, brussels sprouts and similar green leaf vegetables) all have vitamin C. Vitamin C or Ascorbic acid is the only real means of keeping scurvy in check. Can you guarantee your family fresh veggies all year long? I don’t know that most of us could make that promise.

Reason #2: Iron Deficiency

Iron Deficiency is a problem today, even in countries where plentiful amounts of meat and veggies exist. According to healthline an iron deficiency is the most widespread nutritional problem worldwide, it must be obvious that it will be a problem for preppers and survivalists when SHTF. The biggest problem with an iron deficiency is Iron-deficiency anemia. This means a lower than normal level of red blood cells. Some of the symptoms include.Iron(III)-oxide-sample

  • Headaches
  • Pale Skin
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • Strange cravings for non-food things. (dirt, ice, rocks, clay)
  • Tingling in legs
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Brittle nails
  • Headaches


Reason #3: Vitamin A Deficiency

Ok this one is going to be a bit more brutal than even scurvy. Why, because it has a stronger impact on children and pregnant women. According to the WHO (world health organization) a vitamin A deficiency is the leading cause of preventable blindness in children. Also women who lack vitamin A have a higher maternity mortality rate. This means that if you can’t get the vitamins your wife or mate needs, you will see a horrible situation with no good end in sight. The veggies that will save you on this one are the green-yellow ones; carrots, kale, broccoli, and sweet potatoes. Also reddish-yellow fruits such as apricots, papaya, and peaches.

Reason #4: Vitamin B9 (folate) Deficiency

Folate or vitamin B9 does a lot of things for the body. It helps create red blood cells and DNA. Folate is also very important in fetal development. A deficiency can lead to severe birth defects and growth problems. Vitamin B9 is found in beans, citrus fruits, dark leafy veggies, and various meats.

The NIH recommends that pregnant women should take 400 micrograms of folate each day. As preppers we have to ask ourselves if we have a good enough variety of foods to even consider having children during SHTF. Even if you just saved the vitamins for times of low crop yield, or extended travel they would be VERY handy.

Reason #5: Calcium DeficiencySurvival nutrition, prepper nutrition, SHTF medicine

Yes this is a big deal. You think that your diet while bugging out will be good enough to provide the correct amount of calcium? Maybe it will, but over time the lady preppers or survivalists will wish they had made sure to have a good supply of calcium. One of the major issues with a calcium deficiency is that it is hard to detect until it is too late. (specially with no doctors and x-ray machines) The best sources of calcium are milk, yogurt, cheese, kale, broccoli, and calcium fortified grains and cereals.

Problems with low calcium intake are weakening of bones, convulsions, abnormal heart rhythms, and even death.


Make sure you guys have some vitamins in your Bug out Bag, or Shelter in place storage. They are insanely cheap and you could even pop them in half and take one half per day. If 15 bucks now can save you a years worth of trouble from malnutrition isn’t it worth it? My dad and I recommend this bottle, also note that if using the half a day method your one bottle of vitamins will last you over 2.73 years. And if you take them only when you have a crappy food source, or only one type of food, they could last you for a few years more.

I would really appreciate it if you guys could let me know what kinds of vitamins you have in your bag, or when do you plan on buying some? Send me an email or leave a comment below.

John Colorado 9/19/2014


  1. Tom

    You look up the nutritional data for dandelion greens. They grow everywhere almost year round and are a good source for all of the above.

    1. JohnJohn (Post author)

      Excellent Tom, I did not know this! Thanks a ton, we will include this in our next radio show.

  2. NOP

    At CVS I bought the largest bottle of the CVS brand multivitamin/mineral and have split the contents into ziplock bags for each of the family’s bags.
    Kids bags have generic Flintstones vitamins instead. Parents also have some kids vitamins as kids tend to lose things.
    Each bag has a desiccant pack in there as ANY moisture will make packed capsules into nasty goo very quickly.

    1. JohnJohn (Post author)

      Thanks a lot for this comment NOP, you are spot on. I wonder how long we can keep those in a baggie, even with desiccant? Maybe we can add those to our food storage rotation. Just replace the baggies and desiccant every 2 months?

  3. LongTermLiving

    A- I keep vitamins & meds in the freezer for decades of shelf life.

    B- The most important vitamin is ‘D’. 5000 i.u. /day minimum. For indoor dwellers-all year. For outdoorsy folks, you get natural DO from sunshine ONLY during the non-winter months. All people in north America should take D from Oct. thru April.
    It boosts immune sys, assists mental balance, balances many body systems.

    C-gardening is the long term answer.

    D-portable generators will alert/attract the starving killers to your location. Either put a real car muffler on it or never run it when the real TEOTWAKI arrives.
    Best, silent power source is SOLAR panels system.

    E-stock up on gallons of vinegar for picking veggies.
    Buy the food grade, 40 pound bags of pool salt for brining, preserving, tanning hides etc. $8/bag. I found the Morton & Diamond Crystal brands excellent. Walmart or Lowes. Don’t use softener salts-they usually contain trace amounts of chemicals for the resins or for iron deposits.
    Salt is critical for many things. 200# of pool salt will be $40.
    25 Gallons of vinegar will pickle many things.
    100# minimum of SUGAR per person. Its for jams, jellies, canned fruits, booze production (fuel, drink or trade). These supplies don’t spoil. Keep bugs out of sugar..put into jars or sturdy, bug proof containers.
    Cooking oil also good for fat calories & fuel.

    F-most clever peppers already have a good stock of Fish antibiotics from EBay, but don’t neglect the worming meds and flea & bug sprays!
    Ivermectin (in the horse meds isle) is great for many things, research it. Some dogs are deadly allergic. Useful for people too. Also protects pets from heartworm. Cost to treat 1200 pounds of “horse flesh”=$5.
    Also on the list of critical meds is Albendazole. Another critical one is QUEST PLUS GEL (horse working med) works for humans, pets etc.
    Less than $20 fof 1200 pounds of dosage.

    Over doses can kill you & everything else. Its up to you to calculate & measure the proper dose per pound of body weight. The world is better off when stupid people kill themselves. Dont be dead-stupid.

    When crisis shopping, dry dog or cat food may save your life & looters or FEMA won’t confiscate it. Govt takes HUMAN food and supplies during martial law, they’ll skip the bags of pet food (which also can be a great barter item when pet owners need some.)

  4. LongTermLiving

    Did you spot my typo? Dang this Android touch screen.
    It was supposed to say Horse WORMING meds…not ‘horse worKing meds’.

    I hope this was helpful.
    PS. Solar oven is another great thing to save fuel.

  5. Matt

    I think the three biggest “survival crops” to deal with most of the above issues are as follows 1) Jerusalem Artichoke 2) Kale 3) Mustard Spinach.
    All of these are extremely easy to grow.
    3 1/2 cups per day of Jerusalem Artichokes will take care of Iron (#2 above). Jerusalem artichokes also provide a lot of calories and carbs, and some protein. They are considered “invasive” plants, and grow easily year after year with little work. To me “invasive” is great for a survival scenario, it merely means you don’t have to worry too much about losing your crop.
    Mustard spinach is the only vegetable that I have found that has more calcium in one cup than a cup of milk. 3 cups of this a day will provide all the calcium necessary (#5 above). 1 cup of mustard spinach provides 297% of the vitamin A necessary (#3 above) and 325% of the vitamin C necessary (#1 above).
    Kale also provides calcium, vitamin a and vitamin c, but not as much as mustard spinach. It is good to include because even though Mustard Spinach itself is extremely cold-tolerant, kale is probably the most cold-tolerant thing that can be grown for food. I’ve read that you can dig through the snow and eat these things.
    I have not yet found a solution to the Vitamin B9 problem stated above (#4 above). Also vitamin B6 and B12 are usually obtained through animal sources. I’m researching how to deal with these without animals. Not that I have anything against eating animals, I simply am not in a position where I can raise them at this time.
    All of the above (Jerusalem Artichokes, kale and mustard spinach) also contain fiber which is necessary.
    Finally, an important thing to remember is to get a complete sources of protein, fat and carbohydrates. The article above specifically addresses vitamin/mineral deficiency, but without the necessary amount of carbs,fat and proteins we would all die.
    Fat is probably the hardest source to grow without animals. Nuts, peanuts and soy beans contain fat. Fat could be one of the most difficult to obtain in a TEOTWAWKI scenario. Also, various beans provide protein, and mixed with something like potatoes or Jerusalem Artichokes should provide “complete proteins”.
    Carbohydrates are pretty easy to obtain from plant sources (IE jerusalem artichokes and potatoes).
    Basically to live, you need protein, fat, carbs and vitamins/minerals. At a very basic, to start you should have 1)Jerusalem Artichokes, 2) Potatoes 3) Mustard Spinach 4) Kale 5) various beans 6) Sources of fat.


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