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The Best Food For Your Survival Kit

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January 25, 2012
The Best Food For Your Survival Kit - 8

The average “Ten Essentials” list calls for food, as does the typical list of survival priorities. Most instructors and books also recommend that we have food in our bug out bags, 72-hour kits and wilderness survival kits. I’ve been caught without food enough times in the past that I’m always sure to pack food now.

But which types of food make sense in a survival pack?

Certainly your choices will vary by season, terrain and the nature of the survival scenario; but what I’m always looking for is a solid middle ground. Which foods work for hot and cold; wet and dry; short-term and long-term?

Here are the menu choices I’ll be falling back on the next time my luck runs out.

Survival Rations

My personal top choice is the Mainstay 2400 Emergency Food Ration. This product is ready to eat, has a 5-year shelf life and tastes decent. In fact, it tastes a bit like lemon shortbread, which I love. This one-pound brick of six cubes is recommended to provide two days of food for one person. Each 2.67-ounce cube is 400 calories, with added vitamins and minerals. You will need ample water to drink with the rations, because as tasty as they are, they’re also bone dry.

Trail Mix

What if you can’t get to the camping store or the online survival depot to pick up your Mainstay Rations? Then just swing by the nearest convenience store for trail mix, my number-two survival food choice. You’re covering all the food groups with this one—it has raisins to handle the fruit and veggie category, nuts for fat and protein, and candy to cover all the other essential nutritional categories. The shelf life is the biggest drawback on this survival food. The nuts will probably get rank within 6 to 9 months of packaging, depending on the brand, the ingredients and how you store the mix. Most nutty trail mixes are 450 to 500 calories per 3-ounce serving.

Protein Bars

Protein bars are my third choice for a survival kit food. The MET-Rx Big 100 bars taste pretty good; several of the flavors (like cookie dough) won’t melt in the heat; and most flavors are still chewable in the cold. They keep longer than the trail mix (about a year), but they don’t share the trail mix’s high calories or ability to fill your belly. Still, these bars are readily available; and they pack well into a survival bag. Each 3.5 ounce bar is almost 400 calories, with added vitamins and minerals, which gets them close to the nutrition density of the Mainstay Ration.

Which foods do you carry in your survival kits and B.O.B.s? Share your picks with us in the comments.

Comments (8)

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from TheBuzzGuy 3/9/2013 at 08:36pm

I have found that Best Prepper Foods / GoFoods offers something for everyone!

QUALITY = Non GMO Preppers Food. Not Genetically Modified,
Kosher Certified with a 25 Year Shelf Life.
Check out www.BestPrepperFoods.Co .

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from wlf643 7/10/2012 at 12:05am

corn meal is an ancient survival ration. yes, it needs water. careful how much you take, it swells in your belly.
i normally buy a dozen of the one pound fruit cakes around thanksgiving. they are a modern pemmican. if you plan to go, plan for all your needs. ihave bought full size roasts, had them slabbed at the deli, and dried them at home for great jerky.with todays camel bags, water is easy to take.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Scouter 2/14/2012 at 03:47pm

Peanut Butter. (Assuming no allergies) Plastic jar. Keeps forever and we are talking survival. I plan for a three day wait in one spot and someone coming to me, not walking around.
Instantly edible, no fire, no cooking. A finger, stick or spork to eat it. High energy and palatable. I always have one in my truck and one in my hunting pack.
A perfect survival ration.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bob Hansen 1/29/2012 at 01:06pm

Hi...

I used to carry the MREs...but no more. Now I carry freeze-dried pouches, a 3600 calorie emergency food bar, and usually something along the lines of a few tinned sardines/herring in tomato or mustard sauce.

Additionally, when I'm going afield for a half day or longer, I'll also carry two sandwiches with me. These can be eaten for lunch...which will save the "emergency" foods for later in the event of a crisis.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from bulldogbob 1/26/2012 at 08:32pm

Cup of soup and oatmeal, just add hot water items. The rest come from what is in the pantry. Single packets of all kinds of stuff are good. More important is water. A person will live without food for 72 hours, but not water. Average is 1 gallon per person, per day. How can you collect it? How can you purify it? How can you store it? What containers do you have? What events would effect your water supply? Water weight is 8 pounds per gallon.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from trapper vic 1/26/2012 at 06:21pm

Vac-pac Jerky works for me. If it gets too dry and hard add a little water.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from puffy 1/26/2012 at 10:35am

I always use an MRE. They're a little on large/heavy side, but I know I won't eat it unless it really is an emergency (unlike cliff bars, etc.)

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from boonecrockettguy 1/25/2012 at 06:33pm

Cliff bars are great. Probably a little better nutritionally than power bars or things of that sort. I usually keep those and some freeze dried meals in my b.o.b. Jerky is another good food to keep in your bag/survival kit.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report

Write a Comment Your comment (200 characters or less):

from boonecrockettguy 1/25/2012 at 06:33pm

Cliff bars are great. Probably a little better nutritionally than power bars or things of that sort. I usually keep those and some freeze dried meals in my b.o.b. Jerky is another good food to keep in your bag/survival kit.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from puffy 1/26/2012 at 10:35am

I always use an MRE. They're a little on large/heavy side, but I know I won't eat it unless it really is an emergency (unlike cliff bars, etc.)

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from trapper vic 1/26/2012 at 06:21pm

Vac-pac Jerky works for me. If it gets too dry and hard add a little water.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bob Hansen 1/29/2012 at 01:06pm

Hi...

I used to carry the MREs...but no more. Now I carry freeze-dried pouches, a 3600 calorie emergency food bar, and usually something along the lines of a few tinned sardines/herring in tomato or mustard sauce.

Additionally, when I'm going afield for a half day or longer, I'll also carry two sandwiches with me. These can be eaten for lunch...which will save the "emergency" foods for later in the event of a crisis.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Scouter 2/14/2012 at 03:47pm

Peanut Butter. (Assuming no allergies) Plastic jar. Keeps forever and we are talking survival. I plan for a three day wait in one spot and someone coming to me, not walking around.
Instantly edible, no fire, no cooking. A finger, stick or spork to eat it. High energy and palatable. I always have one in my truck and one in my hunting pack.
A perfect survival ration.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from wlf643 7/10/2012 at 12:05am

corn meal is an ancient survival ration. yes, it needs water. careful how much you take, it swells in your belly.
i normally buy a dozen of the one pound fruit cakes around thanksgiving. they are a modern pemmican. if you plan to go, plan for all your needs. ihave bought full size roasts, had them slabbed at the deli, and dried them at home for great jerky.with todays camel bags, water is easy to take.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from bulldogbob 1/26/2012 at 08:32pm

Cup of soup and oatmeal, just add hot water items. The rest come from what is in the pantry. Single packets of all kinds of stuff are good. More important is water. A person will live without food for 72 hours, but not water. Average is 1 gallon per person, per day. How can you collect it? How can you purify it? How can you store it? What containers do you have? What events would effect your water supply? Water weight is 8 pounds per gallon.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from TheBuzzGuy 3/9/2013 at 08:36pm

I have found that Best Prepper Foods / GoFoods offers something for everyone!

QUALITY = Non GMO Preppers Food. Not Genetically Modified,
Kosher Certified with a 25 Year Shelf Life.
Check out www.BestPrepperFoods.Co .

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Write a Comment Your comment (200 characters or less):