The funny thing about freeze-drying is it’s kind of an exception to the rule. Removing all the water from a floret of broccoli, for example, doesn’t turn it into something new; it simply transforms it into a slightly lesser version of itself. “Once you change the physical structure of something by drying it out all the way,” Allen said, “the texture is never really the same.”

“I’m actually responsible, indirectly, for the end of the meetups,” Dr. Shealy tells me inside his Springfield clinic off Chestnut Expressway, and not just because he thinks the earth is more than 6,000 years old. (Andrew: says you can’t trust anyone who believes that.) He sports a red crewneck, navy blue sweatpants, a stretchy metal watch and rectangular glasses. The 85-year-old—he’s more energetic than most people half his age—specializes in holistic medicine; the first thing he asks me is my birthday, and do I know what my astrological sign means. On my way out, he asks if he can hug me, and when I oblige, a toothy grin pulls wide the spritely doctor’s cheeks. “I believe it’s an important part of human contact,” he says. 
There is, however, a pretty solid list of people you should be on the lookout for. If through your long-game recruiting process you come across one of these, snag them up, because they’ll be assets to your group and your cause. Many of these are merely the opposite of the “who you do not want” list, but they are worth specifically talking about. Keep in mind that you won’t generally find these guys from an internet forum or comment pool; then again, you shouldn’t be recruiting from the internet anyway, right?
Reverse depends: AdjBQR, AER, AF, ahaz, AHR, AIM, anoint, APtools, attribrisk, Ball, BART, bayesDP, BayesMixSurv, bayesSurv, bhm, biostat3, BivarP, BMA, bshazard, carcass, cchs, cmprsk, coin, compound.Cox, cond, CoxBoost, coxed, coxinterval, coxme, CoxPhLb, coxphSGD, coxphw, CoxRidge, coxrobust, CPE, cr17, crossmatch, crrp, crrSC, csampling, ctqr, currentSurvival, distcomp, drgee, dynamichazard, dynfrail, DynNom, dynpred, eha, epiDisplay, epiR, FamEvent, fitdistrplus, flexPM, flexrsurv, flexsurv, flexsurvcure, frailtyEM, frailtyHL, frailtypack, frailtySurv, gamlss.cens, gamlss.nl, gcerisk, geecure, geneSignatureFinder, glmpath, globalboosttest, glrt, goftte, GORCure, greyzoneSurv, GSAgm, GSED, gte, gtx, HapEstXXR, HCmodelSets, Hmisc, iBST, ICBayes, icenReg, icensBKL, ICGOR, idmTPreg, IDPSurvival, imputeYn, InferenceSMR, InformativeCensoring, interval, invGauss, ipflasso, IPWsurvival, isoph, JM, JMbayes, joineR, joineRmeta, joineRML, joint.Cox, JointModel, JSM, kaps, kin.cohort, km.ci, kmconfband, lava.tobit, lcmm, LCox, linERR, LncMod, LogicReg, luca, MapGAM, marg, mexhaz, mfp, mhurdle, MiRKAT, missDeaths, mixor, mma, mmabig, mmc, MMMS, MPLikelihoodWB, MRH, mRMRe, MRsurv, MST, mstate, multcomp, multipleNCC, multistate, NADA, NestedCohort, nlreg, NPHMC, nricens, NSM3, optmatch, OrdFacReg, ordinalgmifs, OTRselect, OutlierDC, p3state.msm, packHV, paf, pamr, parfm, partDSA, pch, penalized, PenCoxFrail, peperr, permGPU, permGS, PHeval, PIGE, plac, plRasch, PRIMsrc, prognosticROC, PwrGSD, qrcm, qrcmNP, QualInt, RcmdrPlugin.coin, RcmdrPlugin.survival, relsurv, risksetROC, rms, RobustAFT, ROC632, ROCt, RPCLR, rprev, rstpm2, season, seawaveQ, selectiveInference, SemiCompRisks, seqDesign, seqMeta, SIMMS, simMSM, smcure, smoothHR, smoothSurv, SNPassoc, sp23design, speff2trial, SPREDA, sprinter, sptm, ssym, STAND, STAR, stepp, SubgrpID, superpc, surrosurvROC, survAccuracyMeasures, survAUC, survBootOutliers, survC1, survexp.fr, survey, Survgini, survIDINRI, survivalMPL, survivalsvm, survJamda, survMisc, SurvRegCensCov, survRM2, survSNP, SurvTrunc, tdROC, TH.data, threg, thregI, time2event, timereg, tnet, TransModel, uniah, uniCox, winRatioAnalysis, WPC, Zelig
One major upside of freeze-dried food is its convenience. Since all its water content has been removed—via a process that involves exposing food to subzero temperatures, while removing the resulting water vapor with a vacuum—it’s easier than canned goods to transport on the fly. To “cook” Wise Company’s six-grain Apple Cinnamon Cereal, you just boil three and a half cups of water, dump in the powdery contents of the bag (minus the oxygen absorber), and cover the pot for 12 to 15 minutes.
Still, these extraterrestrial-looking foodstuffs seem to be having something of a moment: For the past four years, Costco has been selling pallets of shriveled vegetables, fruits, grains, and meats that promise to feed a single family for up to a year—and if you’re not a member, you can purchase similar survival kits, many of which boast a 20- to 30-year shelf life, at Walmart and Target. One top seller, Wise Company, saw its sales nearly double over the past four years, reaching around $75 million, according to a Bloomberg Businessweek cover story last November. The company’s CEO, Jack Shields, told me he estimates the industry as a whole generates between $400 and $450 million annually in retail.
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That doesn’t mean that some companies aren’t marketing freeze-dried food as an innovation. After eating the Wise Company meals for three days, I switched to Thrive Life’s Simple Plate program, a Blue Apron–esque service that teaches you how to cook from the company’s store of freeze-dried ingredients, which customers can also get mailed to them in recurring shipments. Unlike Wise Company, Thrive Life’s website makes no mention of emergency preparedness, instead emphasizing the sorts of qualities, like saving money and avoiding waste, that might have appealed to Lydia Maria Child in her time: “These foods won’t spoil in a few days... You won’t be thawing, degreasing, or cutting raw meat. You won’t be chopping veggies or washing and peeling fruit.” I reached out to Thrive Life’s founders to hear more about their rationale for marketing freeze-dried food for everyday use, but didn’t hear back.
The survivalist hard-on (yep, and I'll do it again, too) for prophylactics untouched by chemical pleasure-enhancers is the result of drilling deep (told you) into the magical properties of our latex friends. According to our research, these flexible, durable, waterproof wonders will be as much of a deciding factor in your dystopian longevity as fire and can openers.

Clement says the combination is the “single most useful thing” adventurers can carry. The jelly weighs down the cotton balls, whose long fibers allow a lot of air to move through. And the ferrocerium rod’s wood handle can be scraped for backup tinder. It’s lightweight and makes fire-starting possible even in a downpour. Your second-best option: stormproof matches, pictured below.


If the worst day of your life happens to be a survival situation, then you’d better be stocked with the best gear available. When it comes to the latest and greatest survival supplies, it’s important to do your research and make sure you have the right tool for the job. “Newer” doesn’t always mean “better,” but in this gallery, we’ll take a look at some industry sweethearts and my personal favorites to showcase 15 of the best new gear items in the survival arena. Treat yourself! You, your buddies, and your loved ones deserve it.
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