I found this letter at survivalblog and felt it was worth sharing. Recently, I had the opportunity to perform a long term test of goods improperly stored. A friend of mine placed his possessions in storage in a hurry in 1999, left the state, and did not arrange for anyone to maintain them. He returned last year, and we recently opened his storage locker and removed the items. Items stored in the Midwest, in an outside, sheet metal storage facility with no heat or AC, placed on minimal dunnage and piled in without neat packing or stacking. The interior was dark. Duration was 11 years—1999-2010. The lows near 0 Fahrenheit, highs near 100 Fahrenheit, humidity from 35-100%. The storage facility had a basic sheet metal door and roof with gypsum board walls. Here is how the various items fared: •Clothes: a bit musty, undamaged. •Books and magazines: Bent unless packed properly. Mostly intact. Pages still glued and turned freely, perfectly readable. Some by the door damaged by humidity. •Stick matches: Fine after one day of drying. •Strike anywhere matches: nonfunctional first day. Fizzled on second day. Fizzled then burned on third day, but would only strike on box. After two weeks, their true "strike-anywhere" function returned. •Clear packing tape: Functional. •Brown packing tape: some peeling and loss of adhesive, but functional and plenty strong. •Fireworks: Functional, but a little weak. •VCR tapes: 95% were playable, both factory and home-recorded. •Spam Lite: Can still sealed, contents crumbly, but edible. Taste probably normal (I don’t eat this stuff normally). Note: We conducted tests for bacteria and spoilage before attempting to eat.Do not conduct your own experiments without professional assistance. Use at your own risk.) •Canned sweet peas: A bit pale, but surprisingly tasty. •Vinegar: Stale and tasteless. •Cooking wine: moldy. •Bottled sauces (Sealed): Edible, not very tasty. •Bottled and canned acidic foodstuffs: Eaten through can, evaporated. •Aerosol cans: depressurized. •Bic brand lighters: Functional. •Cardboard boxes: Mostly intact, some un-glued or re-glued due to humidity and pressure. •Particle board furniture: Failed. Crumbly and bent. •Inexpensive couch and mattress: Intact, slightly musty, springs and foam returned to shape after several hours, despite being weighted down for eleven years. Textiles sturdy, color bright. Obviously, varying climates and conditions will yield different results, however, minimal protection from the elements seems to be adequate for a great many items. Nutritional value of foodstuffs lacks quite quickly, but protein and calories remain good. Better dunnage and packing, a sealed environment and some careful planning should yield excellent storage of cached supplies.