In cold climates, storing many items in a garage or a more exposed location can be difficult because of the damaging effects of freezing. Read below for recommendations to help when storing your hard-earned stockpile in cold areas:
- Most regular food items should not be allowed to freeze. Freezing can cause cans to bulge, which can cause the seam to fail, leading to food-borne illness. Other adverse effects include changes in product texture, flavor, or color. (From experience, canned veggies that froze and later thawed turned mushy and had to be tossed out!) Whenever possible, avoid storing foods where the temperatures will reach below freezing.
- Luckily, most canned goods are packed in a solution of salt or sugar, which lowers their actual freezing point.
- Foods that are dehydrated or freeze-dried will actually last longer in the cold since there is no water in them to freeze.
- Freezing can have adverse effects on liquids such as soda, cooking oil, soap, or detergent.
- Some liquids may be brought back to their original state if thawed after they have frozen (shaking may also aid in returning the product to normal). When in doubt, always do a trial run before storing large supplies in freezing areas.
- If possible, store the above products in areas underground, such as a basement or root cellar.
- If a basement is unavailable, try insulating the products as much as possible. Wrap them in newspaper or blankets for storage. Tip: For extra insulation, you can create a small 'room' out of straw bales- floor and walls made from straw around the items, and a sheet of plywood covered by more straw on top.
- Stockpile things such as paper towels, plastic cups and utensils, razors, floss, and toothbrushes in locations that may freeze.
Stay tuned for upcoming tips on storing your stockpile in hot/ humid climates and how to keep out critters and rodents!