Hidden away in UK woodland, a new subculture

Until now the idea of preparing for the coming collapse in the UK was seen as faintly crazy, a bit like  believing the Mayan prophecy of doom in December 2012.

But sites like post-apocalypse.co.uk, and companies like Emergency Food Storage in Leeds  and B Prep in London are reporting sales increasing 10-fold in a year,  as Brits get ready for the collapse of the Euro and an almighty recession.

Ordinary families are storing cash, fuel, food and household products  in anticipation of a calamitous disruption to everyday life.

Emergency Food Storage is selling products from Mountain House, a U.S. brand that started manufacturing in Britain five years ago.

In the past year alone, sales of its tins of food with a 25-year shelf-life have increased by 350 per cent. The contents of these tins are similar to the sachets of foods that mountaineers and other outward-bounds types might be familiar with. But because they are in cans, rather than packets, they last for 25 years, rather than five.

They are created by cooking a normal meal, such as spaghetti bolognaise, and then freezing it rapidly. Finally, the water content is extracted under pressure, a process known as sublimation.

Freeze-drying preserves the taste of the food as well as up to 97 per cent of its nutritional value. It also massively reduces its weight and bulk. For example, 1,000kg of strawberries reduces to 100kg of freeze-dried fruit. The meals are returned to near-enough their original state by adding water (preferably hot, but cold will do).

But because the process is energy-intensive, the food is not cheap.  A six pack of self-heating breakfasts is £32.95

EFS is selling 72 tins of Mountain House food for £2,199.95. This is billed as a deluxe 12-month survival pack of 450 meals. But the same product can be cheaper on Amazon or E-Bay.

Other equipment is similarly expensive.  A Grab Bag Emergency Pack filled with survival equipment is over £200.  Bushcraft Survival courses start at several hundred pounds for a weekend.


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