Part of your survival pantry should be dedicated to emergency drinks. Besides basic hydration, the right emergency drink can provide you with everything from energy, warmth, and comfort to vitamins, nutrients, and electrolytes to morale, bartering power, and more. Here are 9 beverages and drink mixes to stockpile in your prepping pantry for when SHTF.
Water is essential for life and the backbone of your beverage prepping pantry. Many other prepper “beverages,” as well as survival foods, need to be reconstituted with water before you can consume them.
For basic hydration, sanitation, and cooking needs, one gallon per person per day is recommended. Make sure you have enough stored to see you and your family through an emergency.
Seltzer water is another fresh water source to keep in your survival beverage pantry. It can also be used in baking to provide a light and fluffy texture or in tempura batter for added crunch.
Some sparkling waters, like San Pellegrino and Perrier, contain crucial minerals like magnesium and calcium your body needs.
If you enjoy your morning cup of Joe, make sure you include it in your prepper pantry. Since storing whole bean coffee takes up the most space and requires an extra tool – a coffee grinder – it’s best to focus on stockpiling ground coffee and instant coffee. Less prep is a bonus in any survival situation.
For most people, coffee is a morning routine and offers a nice energy and focus boost from the caffeine, which is a natural stimulant.
Engaging in familiar daily rituals can lend a sense of normalcy and comfort in survival situations. Alternately, a crisis could be made worse by sudden caffeine withdrawal.
Finally, because of its popularity – coffee is one of the most consumed beverages in the world – it makes a great bartering commodity if SHTF.
Depending on the type you choose, tea can provide a kick of caffeine and an energy boost like coffee, or it can be a warm mug of comfort and a way to wind down.
For energizing teas, choose black tea or green tea. For a calming cup, sip an herbal tea like chamomile, which has soothing (and snooze inducing) properties and can promote relaxation – an important attribute in uncertain times.
Many teas also have medicinal qualities. Ginger tea can help alleviate nausea and digestive issues, echinacea boosts the immune system and can help provide relief from cold and flu, and hibiscus tea’s a fruity flavored inflammation fighter loaded with antioxidants.
Milk is a great source of calcium, protein, and B-vitamins. It’s also highly versatile and can be used for drinking, baking, and cooking – but it’s one of the first things to spoil when the power goes out.
Unless you have a dairy cow at your disposal, you’re going to want a stash of powdered milk. Powdered milk can last years, and it can be used to make dairy products like butter, yogurt, sour cream, and cream cheese in addition to milk. It can also be used to make creamy sauces, dips, and gravies.
If you’re used to adding half and half to your coffee, powdered milk makes sure you can still enjoy a creamy cup of java.
Electrolyte Mixes/ Sports Drinks
Hydration is crucial to survival, but it’s about more than just water – your body needs electrolytes to function properly and avoid dehydration.
Crises are inherently stressful…and stress can make you sweat. In survival situations that make you sweat or involve strenuous exercise, you’re going to want to replace lost electrolytes. The same holds true for sicknesses with symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, or sweating that result in fluid loss and can lead to dehydration.
It’s important to keep electrolyte replacement drinks in your survival beverage pantry. Premade rehydration drinks include Gatorade and Pedialyte, while popular electrolyte powder and tablet varieties include Liquid Nutrient, DripDrop, Nuun, Liquid IV, and LMNT.
Vitamin C/ Immunity Powders
One of best natural ways to boost your immunity is to eat a healthy diet full of vitamin, mineral, and antioxidant rich fruits and vegetables…but fresh produce will be much harder to come by if SHTF. So will medicines.
On top of that, emergencies work against you by dealing out a hefty dose of stress. Stress causes inflammation, and unchecked inflammation can wreak havoc on your immune system.
You can give your immune system extra support and TLC with vitamin-based and immune-boosting beverage powders. Popular varieties include Emergen-C and Trace Minerals Power Paks.
Turns out, Grandma was right, and there may be some truth to the Old Wives Tale’ that chicken soup will cure your cold.
Hot broth helps clear the airways and ease congestion, and chicken soup contains a number of beneficial compounds, like carnosine, to help you fight off a cold.
Few things are as nourishing or comforting when you’re sick as a hot bowl of soup. And in survival situations when you’re cold, it warms you from the inside out.
Every prepper’s beverage pantry should be stocked with various broths, which can be drank on their own or used as soup base. A soothing cup of soup can be a real morale booster.
Bouillon cubes are another salty survival essential you can use to make soups or to add flavor to other dishes.
Juices like orange juice, pineapple juice, and V-8 Vegetable Juice will provide a punch of vitamin C and other nutrients not found in plain water. It also offers a nice flavorful alternative to plain water, and you’re going to want a little diversity in your survival pantry.
Juice can also be used as a sweetener or flavoring agent. Some juices, like cranberry juice, can actually help with medical issues. Cranberry juice can be beneficial for kidney and urinary tract issues.
It’s more than just a vice. While a beer or glass of wine can de-stress and take the edge off in an emergency, there are plenty of survival uses for alcohol – especially hard liquor.
You can use a liquor like vodka as a disinfectant, sterilizing agent, or antiseptic to provide relief from bug bites.
It can also be used as a base to make your own herbal tinctures.
In addition to chicken soup above, another homespun remedy for coughs and colds is drinking a hot toddy – a simple concoction of hot water, whiskey, lemon juice, and honey.
Beer, wine, and spirits can be morale boosters and lift your spirits. They can also be a prized commodity and great for bargaining.
Finally, hard liquor is flammable. You can use a piece of cloth soaked in alcohol as a fire starter.
Final Word on Prepping Beverages
First and foremost, you’re going to want enough water for drinking, cooking, and cleaning. That said, as you can see above, there are many beverages that provide survival uses outside of simple hydration. Don’t overlook the importance of having a variety of drinks in your prepping pantry to enhance nutrition and hydration, and to provide energy, comfort, morale, and bartering power.